CHANDIGARH: Amid the ongoing tussle between farmers and the central government, another confrontation is building up in Punjab where a section of farmers are refusing to give up their land for two major highway projects — the Delhi-Katra expressway and the Jamnagar expressway.
The state government is fearing the wrath of farmers who are concerned that the proposed highways would cut their lands into two and that the compensation offered is very low.
The leaders representing these farmers are pressurising the state government to inform the Centre that these road projects should be shelved.
Sukhdev Singh Dhillon, president of the Delhi-Katra Expressway Sangharsh Committee, said the state government was planning to acquire 1.10 lakh acres of land for the two projects.
“These lands are spread in more than 315 villages in 13 districts of the state. The government has already fixed the price as Rs 9.67 lakh per acre at Santokhpura village in Sangrur. This is below even the market price,” he said.
“These projects are not good for the state as these expressways would cut through farmlands. Also, they will destroy several village ponds.”
Prabhdial Singh Joshan, who has 26 acres land, said his 3.5 acres lwould fall under the project.
“The house I built would also be razed down. Our lands would be cut into pieces. In some cases, tube wells would come on one side of the highway while the farmlands would come on the other side,” he said.
Meanwhile, an official said they are trying to raise the compensation by issuing a fresh notification.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal has asked the state government not “cheat” the farmers by announcing a “ridiculous” price of Rs 9.67 lakh per acre.