Abid Hussain

Land-owners stage protest, demand compensation at par with other states

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Budgam semi-ring road

Budgam, July 21: Demanding fair compensation for their land that is being acquired by government for the semi-ring road, the owners staged a protest outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office here on Saturday.

Amidst massive sloganeering against the government, dozens of farmers from across several areas of Budgam district assembled under the banner of ‘Semi-ring Road Land Owners Welfare Committee’.

Protesters were holding placards that read, “Ring road destroying our future”, “NHAI don’t act as East India Company”, and “We need fair compensation”, “Enact New Land Acquisition Law”.

The protesting farmers said that the people in other states are being given four times money than the actual rate during any land acquisition. However, farmers in Jammu and Kashmir only get a meager amount for the same.

During the protest demonstration, an artist Reyaz Wathoori, joined by others, also performed a skit, mocking at the government through his song for not giving adequate compensation to the farmers.

Talking to ‘Kashmir Images’ Wathori said that their land is more fertile than in Bihar and UP, but still they do not get fair compensation.

When asked that Land Acquisition Act, 2013 is not applicable in Jammu and Kashmir, he said, “If government can implement AFSPA and GST in our state, why can’t they enact New Land Acquisition Act here.”

Imran Hussain, a protester said, “Farmers would not give their land for peanuts. Government should provide us fair compensation.”

Protestors said that if their demands are not met, they would not allow National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to construct the road on their land.

Later, the protesting farmers handed over a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner Budgam, Dr Syed Sehrish Asgar,  who assured the farmers that she will forward their genuine demands to the higher authorities.

Pertinently, the government is going to acquire thousands of Kanals of agricultural land for constructing 60 km semi-ring road in Budgam, Pulwama and some parts of Bandipora and Ganderbal districts. More than 4000 Kanals of land will be acquired in Budgam only.

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