J&K L-G says wait as father of slain militant sticks to his demand

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday assured a farmers’ delegation that he will soon take up with the Centre their demand for the revision of compensation against land acquired by the NHAI under the ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’.

He also directed the financial commissioner revenue (FCR) to immediately issue detailed instructions to the concerned officials not to credit the compensation amount into farmers’ bank accounts against their will, according to a government statement issued here.

The issue relates to 25,000 hectares of land in 15 districts of the state. The land is under the process of acquisition under the ‘Bharatmala Pariyojna’.

Multiple expressways, including Delhi-Jammu-Katra, Jamnagar-Amritsar, Ludhiana-Ropar, Bathinda-Dabwali, and Jalandhar and Ludhiana bypass, will be built on this land.

Farmers have rejected the “meagre” compensation awarded by the district revenue officers (DROs), who have been designated as the Competent Authority for Land Acquisitions, for their lands acquired by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) under the ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’.

The government envisages building 34,800 km of highways at a cost of about Rs 5.35 lakh crore under the ambitious ‘Bharatmala Pariyojna’.

Singh met a delegation of Road Kissan Sangharsh Committee here led by its state president Sukhdev Singh Dhillon, the statement said.

During the meeting, the CM assured the farmers’ delegation that he will soon meet Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari to raise their demand, it said.

He directed his principal secretary to seek an early appointment with Gadkari and asked the director general of police to ensure that farmers’ land is not forcibly seized, it added.

Singh stressed the need to resolve the issue on priority to the satisfaction of farmers, who have been protesting for the past several months, the statement said.

He also directed FCR Ravneet Kaur and Principal Secretary PWD (buildings and roads) Vikas Partap to jointly prepare a comprehensive case, in consultation with the representatives of the committee, to highlight the “glaring discrepancies” in deciding the compensation for the farmers under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, it said.

The CM ruled out the possibility of referring such cases for arbitration as it will unnecessarily lead to an inordinate delay in seeking justice for the farmers, it said.