Uttar Pradesh announces new land acquisition policy

Lucknow, Sep 3 (Calcutta Tube) In a bid to placate agitating farmers, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Friday announced a new land acquisition policy which offers several sops to the people whose lands are acquired.

‘The UP (Uttar Pradesh) government has come out with the best land acquisition policy, which beats any other state in the country,’ state Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh said at a press conference here.

He said no land of farmers will be acquired without their express consent under the terms of a written agreement. ‘The price of the land will be finalised through a negotiated settlement between the government and the land-owner,’ he said.

‘In addition to a mutually settled price, we also propose to offer the farmer a handsome annuity at the rate of Rs.20,000 per acre for a period of 33 years, during which it would be given an annual hike at the rate of Rs.600 per acre. However, every affected farmer would also have the option to go for a one-time payment at the rate of Rs.2.40 lakh per acre,’ Singh said.

‘Besides, one member of the affected farmer’s family would be entitled to consolidated wages of Rs.1.85 lakh for a period of five years,’ he added.

Yet another sop was making it binding on the company for whom land were to be acquired to reserve 25 percent of its shares for affected farmers, who would have the choice to go or not to go for these.

‘Last but not the least, was allocation of 7 percent of the acquired land to let the affected farmers build homes for themselves,’ Singh said.

Singh said to resolve the crisis after last month’s police firing on demonstrating farmers at Tappal in Aligarh district, the state government has decided to drop its plan of setting up a high tech township along the proposed Yamuna Expressway passing through Tappal.

Trouble erupted at Tappal as farmers protested against what they termed as ‘grossly inadequate’ compensation for their lands acquired for the township.

‘We are not against land acquired for building the expressway, but if the government wants to take our land for private developers to build a high tech township where property will be sold at sky-rocketing prices, then we must be paid compensation at the same rate that was given to our counterparts in Greater Noida,’ farmers’ action committee leader Mahendra Singh Tewatia told IANS over telephone from Tappal.

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