Jewar may lose airport if farmers don’t give land: Main negotiator

NOIDA: The officer negotiating prices for the proposed international airport at warned on Thursday the project “will be dropped” if farmers were not ready to give their plots.
The remarks, which echoed the chief minister’s advice to farmers last week not to be too rigid on land prices since there were other contenders for the airport, came on a day when residents of one village, Rohi, refused to part with their land unless they were paid four times the circle rate as compensation.

“We are holding meetings with farmers. But if they do not give land, it’s obvious the project will be dropped,” said Prabhat Kumar, chairman of the Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA).

Kumar also took to social media to send across the message. “No. of confusions of Pradhans/farmers of 6 villages where land is proposed to b acquired for were clarified in today. Were given offer regarding rate with or without other benefits. They were very receptive & will consider offer. If not agreed Airport May b dropped (sic),” he tweeted.

The UP government has agreed to offer farmers around three times the current circle rate of Rs 900 per square metre. At the rate proposed by the government (Rs 2,500 per sqm), a farmer with a one acre plot will get around Rs 1 crore. But if the state gives in to the farmers’ demand and offers Rs 3,600 per sqm, a landloser will stand to get Rs 1.45 crore.

On Thursday, district magistrate BN Singh visited Rohi for talks. Apart from four times compensation, the villagers also demanded jobs and houses within 500 metres of the proposed airport site. “The district magistrate said the government was ready to give Rs 2,500 per sqm. The farmers refused to sign the pact and the meeting was dissolved,” said a villager. A total of 481 hectares has been earmarked in Rohi village for acquisition. The government had originally planned to acquire 1,441 hectares in eight villages — Ramner, Ranehra, Banwariwas, Mukeempur-Shivara, Parohi, Kishorpur, Dayanatpur, and Rohi. But Ramner and Mukeempur-Shivara were dropped from the list after an assessment suggested land there need not be acquired. A deadline of 2022-23 has been set for the completion of the airport.

Kumar said the government was making an “all-out” effort to get the airport made in Jewar.

“I will also visit Jewar next week and hold meetings. All their clarifications and doubts will be cleared. It is the people who have to decide what is good for them,” he said. Officials have been telling villagers the airport would create thousands of jobs in the area and give rise to several ancillary units.

Kumar said the villagers’ consent needed to be taken at the earliest as the Centre wouldn’t wait very long and think of relocating it.

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