Gram Panchayats raise voice against acquiring fertile land for Balh Airport
Shimla, March 27
As People are toiling hards to protect their crops from wild and stray animals, another threat to their livelihood as state and centre governments are trying to acquire their lands at throwaway prices in the state.
A resolution was passed by the Gram Panchayt Chhatdu in Mandi district on Monday proposing that airport should not be built at Balh at any cost . They demanded that proposed project should be built at another barren place.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Sub-Divisional Officer Balh regarding Balh Airport, presence Gram Panchayat head Gita Devi and official of Wapcos Company, SR India and other officials including the farmers of the village Chhatradu.
In a written submission farmer Dalip Pant demanded and specially underlined that the of Balh land is very fertile and farmers are harvesting three crops and having good return from the land should not be acquired. He said that farmers would be ruined if the Government acquired this fertile land. He said that circle rate of the land (9.5 lakh foot bigha) is so low as they would not be able to buy the same land elsewhere. He said that the proposal made to them is not at all acceptable as no reference came in the report that where they would be settled, how much land they will get in return to losing their ancestral land and there is no guarantee of employment.
Farmer Jeevan Ram stated in the meeting that 85 per cent people are Dalits in the village and quest is that where would they be settled.
On behalf of the panchayat of Chhatdu,Pardhan Satya Devi gave four proposals of panchayat and demanded that the proposed airport in Balh should be built on another barren place. She said that if government would built airport in the fertile and arable land of Balh it would be completely unfair as thousands of farmers would become landless and the displaced would become unemployed, if the high revenue earning land gets snatched from them.
Rajkumar said that farmer should not be uprooted from the fertile land of Balh and it should be built in another place. Former Pradhan Balraj Chaudhary said that this airport should be built on some barren land so that the farmers could be saved from the forcefull displacement. Amar Singh Saklani said that the productivity of land in Balh is at par Punjab, and should be saved at all costs.