Return SEZ land to farmers, MP tells Hooda

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GURGAON: Rao Inderjit Singh, the three-time Gurgaon MP and a Congressman till recently, asked the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government on Friday to give back land earmarked for special economic zones to farmers where norms have been diluted to allow real-estate development.

Singh, who has announced he will join BJP in February, made this demand a day after the Supreme Court asked the Haryana government for details of instances where the land use was changed from SEZ to real-estate activities.

In February 2006, lands of farmers in Godali Khurd, Moh Madpur Jhadsa, Khandsa, Harsu, Narsinghpur near Manesar was acquired by Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructural Development Corporation (HSIIDC) for setting up of the country’s largest SEZ in partnership with Reliance Industries Ltd.

Singh said the government couldn’t make any use of the land for eight years. RIL returned 1,383 acres of land to the government after the SEZ plan was shelved. Saying the government should recognize the legitimate rights of original land-owners to get back their land, he said the farmers and their children were still unemployed. “Neither did they get any royalty on the land, nor did they get the benefit of the new land acquisition policy,” Singh said.

The MP also recalled the Supreme Court observation reminding the state government that 5 lakh jobs were guaranteed to farmers at the time of acquisition. Heaping criticism on the government’s policy, he said it was unfair to make amends in the change of land use (CLU) policy and use the land for real-estate projects. “It is injustice to those farmers who were compelled to sell land at throwaway prices as they were worried of government acquisition at much less than the market rate,” Singh said.

He also referred to Thursday’s Punjab and Haryana high court order barring the state government from acquiring land and issuing new CLUs to developers in NCR without the approval of the NCR Planning Board, claiming an inquiry into CLUs granted for over 21,000 acres of land would unearth a big scam.


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