Chandigarh, September 23, 2021 (Yes Punjab News)
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today resolved to launch a vigorous agitation to save the future of two lakh farmers of the State across nineteen districts whose lands are being unjustly acquired for peanuts by the Congress government for various roads being constructed under the Bharat Mala project.
It has decided to hold a massive protest march from Mohali to the chief minister’s residence in Chandigarh on September 29 to secure justice for the affected farmer families. A party delegation will also meet the Punjab Governor on this issue tomorrow and submit a memorandum to him to demand fair compensation for the affected farmers.
These decisions were taken after the senior SAD leadership led by party president Sukhbir Singh Badal met representatives of the Punjab Pradesh Road Kisan Sangharsh Committee, which has been spearheading the campaign to secure a fair compensation for the affected farmers, to understand the problems being faced by them.
Briefing the SAD leadership Committee President Sukhdev Singh Dhillon said farmers had been short changed by the Congress government and were being offered ridiculously low awards averaging Rs 30 lakh to Rs 70 lakh per acre for rural and urban land respectively and demanded an enhanced compensation of Rs one crore per acre for rural land and Rs three to Rs five crore per acre for urban land being acquired for the road projects.
The Committee members said the Congress government was deliberately giving a very low basic price due to which farmers were not able to get a just award despite addition of the multiplier factor, hundred per cent solatium and even additional compensation.
Mr Sukhdev Dhillon gave the instance of how the award for land acquired at Santokhpura village was only Rs 19.50 lakh per acre one year back. The Committee also highlighted how there was no logic in deciding the final award.
“The farmers of Stabatpura in Mohali received a compensation of Rs nine crore per acre but farmers from the next village Bakarpur received Rs 5.75 crore per acre and those of the adjoining village Pragpur only Rs 29 lakh per acre”, Committee Coordinator Harmanpreet Singh disclosed.
The Committee also highlighted how 25,000 acres of land were being acquired for the project but another 75,000 acres were rendered useless being small pockets which were left without access and irrigation facilities. It also disclosed that more than 3,000 houses would be demolished and villages would lose 100 village ponds.
It said one crore trees would be felled under the project and hundreds of factories, shellers, poultry farmers, brick kilns and dairy farms would be uprooted. It also disclosed that some areas in Kapurthala, Moga, Ludhiana, Moga, Bathinda and Fatehgarh Sahib would witness flood like conditions due to stoppage of the natural flow of water due to construction of the new roads.
Mr Sukhbir Badal while interacting with the Committee members said during the previous SAD government farmers received compensation between Rs 1.50 crore per acre to Rs 6 crore per acre. He assured the Committee that the SAD would take up their issues vigorously and would force the Congress government to do justice with farmers. He also appealed to the Committee representatives as well as affected farmers to join the SAD in the Protest March being held on September 29.
The major roads slated to come up in the State as part of the Bharat Mala project include the Delhi – Jammu- Katra expressway, Jamnagar – Amritsar expressway, Ludhiana – Ropar road, Amritsar – Una road and Mohali –Fatehgarh Sahib besides other short stretches including bye pass connections.
Senior SAD leaders present on the occasion included Jathedar Tota Singh, Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, Bikram Singh Majithia, Dr Daljit Singh Cheema and Surjit Singh Rakhra.