UP offers higher rate for acquired land

Written by Political Bureau | Lucknow | Updated: Aug 18 2010, 07:04am hrs
On the backfoot ever since the use of force against farmers seeking higher compensation for land being acquired for the Yamuna Expressway in the Aligarh-Mathura belt, the Mayawati government on Tuesday offered to increase the land compensation rate. But the proposal led to sharp divisions among the protesters who decided not to withdraw the agitation despite the pleas of their leader Rambabu Katelia who was released on bail on Tuesday.

The Kisan Sangharsh Samiti was said to be working on a fresh strategy. Late on Monday, UP cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh held talks in Aligarh with representatives of the farmers and offered them Rs 570 per square metre as compensation for the acquired land. This was an increase from Rs 449 per square metre paid earlier, stated an official press release.

The extra Rs 121 per square metre, the government said, would be in the form of special financial assistance. The government said that if any farmer did not want to accept this assistance, his land would not be acquired.

If the farmers make a request, the government would give back their land, the release said. The government also announced that it had given instructions for the release of farmers arrested during the agitation. We offered a package to the farmers in the hope that the issue would end. The farmers were given the best options to end the agitation, said a top source in the government. In its release on Monday night, the government had claimed that the farmers had agreed to call off the agitation.

The government has asked senior leaders of western UP, including minister Thakur Jaiveer Singh and former minister Choudhari Laxmi Narayan, to ask the farmers to call off the agitation.