SANGAREDDY: For the first time, it appears as though the state government has decided to listen to farmers while acquiring their lands for any public purpose, rather than steam-rolling its way. For National Investment Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ), the officials, on the direction of MAUD minister K T Rama Rao, are focussing on issues that the farmers have been raising since the beginning, for surrendering their lands.
The State government, in 2012, had decided to acquire 12,634 acres of land in 17 villages in Nayakal and Jharasangam mandals in the Zaheerabad Assembly constituency but the process for acquisition of the land began only in 2015 after survey and other works were done. Officials, who had planned to acquire 3,501.33 acres in the first phase and 8,219.10 acres in the second phase, have acquired only 3,000 acres in the past seven years. Officials say the delay in the land acquisition was due to the fact that the oustees were dissatisfied with the compensation offered and were staging protests while some other farmers went to the court.
As the stalemate continued for years, KTR, recently, after farmers staged a protest while he was on an official programme in the NIMZ, had asked the officials to give “something” extra to the farmers in addition to the payment of a price mutually agreed upon for the land they are going to lose to the NIMZ. The government, in the past, had paid `5.65 lakh per acre but now the farmers argue that the land prices had gone up to `50 lakh to `1 crore per acre and what the government was offering was just a pittance.
To keep the farmers in good humour, the government had upped the price to `15 lakh per acre but even this price has not found favour with them. The government is actively considering offering the farmers a 121 sq yard house plot to each of them near the NIMZ which would over time appreciate greatly. The government believes that the farmers by holding on to the house site would be able to reap a great benefit, going forward.
As some farmers have already come forward to surrender their lands for a price of `15 lakh per acre, the government in a goodwill gesture is trying to provide them with house plots as well. After implementing this idea in NIMZ, it might extend the same to other areas in the district.
The government is also considering roping in industries that are likely to come up in NIMZ to help the farmers by way of financial assistance. The officials are also trying to explain to the industrial units to provide employment to the eligible in farmers’ families. Rama Rao, in his recent visit to NIMZ, had revealed that a training centre would be set up to impart the training to the local unemployed so that they could be gainfully employed.