The UP government said that the violence by farmers in Unnao against land acquisition for Trans-Ganga City was politically motivated and forces inimical to farmers’ interest and development were behind the incident.
Farmers had staged violent protests demanding higher compensation of land acquired by the government for Trans-Ganga City industrial-cum-residential project in Unnao on November 17 and 18.
“The 1,144 acres of land for Trans-Ganga City project in Unnao was acquired during the previous Samajwadi Party regime and all farmers and Rs 237 crore was paid to affected farmers,’’ said Iindustries minister Satish Mahana in Lucknow on Tuesday.
“That the stir is politically-motivated, is evident from the fact that of the 14 people arrested in this connection, only one was a farmer whose land was acquired while the rest 13 were outsiders,’’claimed the minister.
Mahana further claimed, “The project was a non -starter during the previous Akhilesh regime. When the BJP government initiated the execution of the project, farmers were instigated to ask for a bigger comensation thatled to the agitation by farmers.”
Explaining the theory further, the Indisutries minister said, “The BJP government added to the profile of the project by proposing the construction of a new bridge on Ganga river linking Sarsaiyya ghat of Kanpur with Trans-Ganga City. This will add to the profile and land prices in the project area was likely to skyrocket, even higher than posh areas of Kanpur. Some mischievous elements instigated the farmers to demand higher compensation for their land acquired for the project.’’
Mahana said that at the time of land acquisition, farmers were paid Rs 1.51 lakh per bigha as compensation and were later paid Rs 5.51 Lakh per bigha more. An additional Rs 7 Lakh per bigha as ex gratia was paid to the farmers during the previous Akhilesh regime.
“Each farmer was thus compensated at the rate of Rs 12.51 per bigha and a total of Rs 237 crore has already been paid to them. Hence there was no justification for the stir,’’argued the Industries minister.
Mahana said that the project was formulated and was being implemented by State Industrial Development Authority (SIDA) since 2014-15. “Tenders for infrastructure development were started during the previous SP regime but contractors were prevented by farmers. The BJP government later cancelled the tenders and FIRs were lodged against several contractors and developers,” he said.
“As many as 1,784 persons had applied for allotment of residential plot at Trans-Ganga City. Due to the delay in execution of project, 780 persons sought refund of their money. The SIDA refunded but deducted 25 percent of the amount. The BJP government not only repaid that amount but also paid 6 percent interest on the amount deposited by plot seekers,’’ said Mahana.
The Industries miister said that the BJP government was committed to completing the project as it was in the interest of overall development of both Kanpur and Unnao districts.