Pay farmers more for land acquired: Akali Dal

Govt. to take over 25,000 acres for road projects

Leaders and workers of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) staged a demonstration against the “low compensation” being given to farmers to acquire their lands for various road projects under the Bharat Mala project.

SAD members staged a protest on the Mohali-Chandigarh border after they were stopped by the police from proceeding towards Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s official residence.

SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said the Congress government had stonewalled the demand for fair compensation to more than two lakh farmers whose 25,000 acres of land were being acquired across 19 districts in the State. He said farmers were being short-changed by the Congress government, which was giving them awards ranging from ₹30 lakh to ₹70 lakh per acre for rural and urban land respectively when they should be getting ₹2 crore to ₹3 crore per acre.

Besides acquisition of 25,000 acres, as much as 75,000 acres of land were rendered useless — being small pockets left without access and irrigation facilities. More than 3,000 houses would be demolished, and villages would lose 100 village ponds. Farmers would also lose water sources and tubewells as well, he said.

On the current political scenario, Mr. Badal said: “No one seems to be interested in the people or their problems. What we are witnessing in the Congress party is a fight for the top post. One person wanted to be Chief Minister, but another got the post. One leader wanted the Chief Minister to be his puppet but when the latter did not oblige, he submitted his resignation. Punjab cannot be run like this. This is a border State. We need a leader who can act like a unifying factor.”

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