December 9, 2021

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In the Shadow Of Soon-To-Come Jewar Airport, Farmers Live In Tents

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In the Shadow Of Soon-To-Come Jewar Airport, Farmers Live In Tents

All the residents of Rohi village had to relocate to make way for the airport

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation for the Jewar airport in Noida, near Delhi,  on Thursday — barely 700 meters from a row of tents where farmers whose lands were acquired for the 5,730 crore project (First phase), are living with families. Some of them say they did not receive the land for house promised by the government. Others say they are yet to receive any compensation. The local BJP MLA admitted that the land acquisition was made in a hurry.

All the residents of Rohi village had to relocate to make way for the airport. But there are still around 100 families who are living in tents.

One of the farmers, 45-year-old Om Pal, has been living in a plastic tent for the last three years. He says he did not receive any compensation or land in the city to build a house on.

“My file has been waiting for three years… this is in the hand of the officials,” Om Pal told NDTV.

Ram Swaroop, who had to evacuate his 90-metre brick house, has been forced to live in a tent with wife.  

In nearby Nanglasharif village, 15 families have been living in tents after their homes were razed for the airport project. There is no water in the area and electricity has been disconnected.

One of the residents, Hassan Mohammad, will spend his third winter in a tent, with his wife and four small children. He said he has received compensation, but not a plot for a house, as promised.

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“We received 5.5 lakh, but no land or money to build a house, even though my papers are in order,” he told NDTV. “So we have been living here. With these small children, where will I go?”

Those who have received 50 meter plots to build a home, have also been forced to live here, for the sake of their animals. Given the limited space, there is nowhere to build barns.

Ajay Pratap Singh, 62, a resident of Kheda Dayanatpur, had approached the Allahabad High Court against the land acquisition for the airport.

In his petition, he has alleged that they did not receive compensation according to the Land Acquisition Act.

“It never happens that the population is declared rural and their agricultural land is declared as urban, this has never happened. We are rural, so we should receive four times of circle rate, but they have given us only 2 times the circle rate by calling us urban,” he said.

The BJP’s Dhirendra Singh, the MLA from Jewar, admitted that the land acquisition was made in a hurry, which is why the farmers did not receive the compensation or the promised plot of land. “We needed more time to relocate them. But since the Uttar Pradesh government had an understanding with the companies about when the land should be handed over, the farmers had to face hardship. We will sit down with officials and sort this out,” he added.

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