Villagers protest acquisition of 700 acres under old law

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GURGAON: The Haryana government’s acquisition of 700 acres of land in various parts of Gurgaon last December has hit a stumbling block as villagers who had agreed to part with their plots are now reluctant to do so if they aren’t compensated under the new land acquisition law.

The villagers claim they were served notices in a hurry by the government between December 12 and 31 last year under provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The new Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 came into force from January 1 this year.

Several villagers have filed objections with the Land Acquisition Office in Gurgaon demanding that the proceedings be held under the new law. An objection can be filed within a month of the notice being served.

The places where the government has begun proceedings to acquire land are Badshapur, Farrukh Nagar, Basai, Ullahwas, Nurpur, Akhlimpur, Jharsa, Mubarakpur and Manesar. Officials at the Land Acquisition Office refused to comment when TOI contacted them.

“I have filed objections because the Haryana government did not wait for the implementation of the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act to acquire the land,” said Rajesh Yadav, who lives in Badshapur and owns a 3.5-acre plot.

The villagers clarified their objection wasn’t against their land being acquired but by the timing of the notices whose obvious purpose was to pre-empt the clauses of the new law.

Mukesh, who is among the land-owners to have filed an objection, said, “Under the new law, land-owners will get the market rate of the plot being acquired. That’s why the state government rushed to issue notices in December itself.”

Speaking with TOI, Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh said the notices smacked of “mala fide” intent. “After meeting the land-owners, I have written to CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda on land acquisition proceedings in the city. It clearly shows mala fide intent as the timing of the notices is dubious and not in the interest of farmers.” The notices, he added, should be scrapped with immediate effect.

“The land must be acquired through the new law, which has been framed by Parliament to safeguard the interests of farmers,” he said.


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