M A I N   N E W S

SC ORDER ON Greater Noida land acquisition
UP villagers rejoice, investors in a bind 
Sandeep Yadav
Tribune News Service

Greater Noida, July 7
The Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Allahabad High Court judgment quashing the acquisition of over 156 hectares of land in Shahberi village in Greater Noida has suddenly given a fresh lease of to the farmers agitating against the Greater Noida Authority’s (GNA) dictatorial ways of grabbing their lands at a throwaway prices and passing them on to the builders at a huge profit margin, in the name of modernisation and development.

Overjoyed by the court’s decision, some farmers even created a ruckus and disrupted development work near Bishrakh village today.

The general perception of the villagers in the area is that the decision on Shahberi village is just a beginning and a similar decision would follow in their favour very soon. Farmers of villages, including Surajpur, Bishrakh and Gulistapur who are protesting against the acquisition of their farmland are gloating over the SC decision with regard to Shahberi.

“We are very happy for Shahberi village and believe that a similar decision would be given in our case too. The Allahabad High Court has already cancelled the acquisition of 170 hectares of our land by the GNA and the Supreme Court is likely to uphold the decision,” said Nanak Chand Sharma of Gulistanpur village.

The happiest are the Shahberi villagers, where a majority of the farmers had not accepted the meagre compensation doled out to them by the GNA.

“My family lost 60 bighas of our land three years ago. We were being offered around Rs 7 lakh per bigha but we refused to take the money and protested but nothing happened. Later, the 
same land was given to builders at the rate of around Rs 2 crore. See the difference. Now justice has been done to us,” said middle-aged Sajid Hussain of Shahberi.

Sunil Fauji, echoing the same sentiments, said that the SC has broken the nexus between builders, Greater Noida Authority and the government with yesterday’s decision. “They sell our land in crores, while buying it from us in lakhs. Why cant the builders buy directly from us?”-he said. When asked as to what will happen if development work is given up all together, Fauji said they would get back to cultivating the land.

Meanwhile, the investors who had booked flats in the societies affected by the decision are most apprehensive about their money.

While builders like Amrapalli, Supertech and Mahagun are assuring investors that they would either be adjusted in other projects or their money will be paid back, not many are buying it. “Extracting money out of builders is a herculean task and there examples of past instances. I have booked a flat after taking a Rs 15-lakh loan at 9 per cent rate of interest. I will be keep paying the interest only and there seems to be no flat for me now,” said Rakesh Sharma, an engineer.

Singur welcomes verdict

Singur: The farmers of Singur in West Bengal expressed happiness over the Supreme Court's decision to quash the acquisition of land in Shahberi village of Greater Noida. "We are happy that the farmers will be returned their lands. I know how it feels when your land is snatched away," said Paromita Das who herself is looking forward to getting back her land that was taken over by the state government. "I am not aware of the legal complexities but I am happy for the farmers (in Greater Noida). Hopefully, we too will see such a day soon," said Joothika Manna who had to lose her family land, which was the only source of livelihood. Mahadeb Das, another farmer, welcomed the verdict and said it will make the people more hopeful about getting back their own land. 





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