Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 20
Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) and Sadak Sangrash Committee staged a dharna at Chhapar and Dhulkot villages in Ludhiana today to oppose the acquisition of land by authorities for the construction of Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway under the Bharatmala project of the Union Government.
Office-bearers and activists of BKU (Ekta Ugrahan), led by its district general secretary Saudagar Singh Ghudani and president, Sadak Sangrash Committee, Bikkar Singh Kalakh, said the organisations would organise a regular dharna if the administration insisted on acquiring the land without paying adequate compensation to farmers.
“We will not allow any government or non-government agency to snatch even an inch of land belonging to farmers of the region until the owners are given adequate compensation,” said Ghudani, regretting that the administration had forgotten the assurance given by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, who had told Central Government that no land would be acquired without the consent of farmers.
Farmers and activists of BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) and Sadak Sangarsh Committee gathered at Chhapar and Dhulkot villages early morning today after learning that the administration had reached to acquire land for the project under the cover of massive security arrangements.
Though officials led by Ludhiana (West) SDM Swati Tiwana later agreed to not proceed with the process, farmers continued their protest by blocking roads with their tractors. The way for JCBs brought by the authorities was also blocked by farmers. The protesters were later persuaded to clear the way and lift the dharna.
SDM Tiwana said higher authorities in the administration had been updated about the sequence of events leading to a staggering of the exercise.
“We have told farmers that the local administration was not authorised to make any change in the award passes in connection with land acquired for construction of the expressway,” the SDM said, maintaining that the process would be resumed according to the instructions of senior officials in the administration.
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