STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: The affected farmers of Ring Road project Srinagar and Jammu in a joint press conference here on Monday made it clear to the government that they won’t allow construction of Ring Road unless the demands for fair compensation were not accepted by it. The affected farmers of Kashmir Valley and Jammu formed a Joint Coordination Committee to press for their demands. The farmers said that Jammu and Kashmir State continues to follow J&K Land Acquisition Act 1934 which is a 85 years old law promulgated by Maharaja Hari Singh. The Congress lead United Progressive Alliance (UPA-II) in the year 2013 enacted more progressive and democratic law called Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (RFCTLARR Act 2013). Inspite of the fact that Congress was in coalition government with National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir in the year 2013, RFCTLARR 2013 was not ratified by J&K Government. “NC-Congress Government did not even enact a new Land Acquisition law as they did in case of Right to Information Act (RTI) or other laws. Even PDP- BJP Government also failed to enact new Land Acquisition Law. They failed to get central law (RFCTLARR Act 2013) extended into J&K but when they had to ratify GST Act they did this within days. Even the Governor administration that enacted several laws through ordinance since last 6 months failed to repeal 85 year old State Land Acquisition Act” said G.A Paul President Ring Road Land Owners Welfare Committee Kashmir province. “RFCTLARR Act 2013 focuses on providing not only compensation but rehabilitation and resettlement as well. In rural areas compensation paid to affected people is four times more the market value of land and property and in urban areas this compensation is double. J&K is a land deficit State with mere three Kanals agriculture land holding which is one hectare plus (20 Kanals) in rest of country. Instead of paying J&K affected farmers 5 to 7 times more compensation than market value of land, our land is being snatched and we are paid 10 to 50 times less than the market value as stamp duty rate in J&K state especially in Jammu and Budgam districts is very less” said O.P Khajuria, Senior leader of Ring Road Kissan Sangharsh Samiti Jammu. “Private Negotiation is a provision in J&K Land Acquisition Act 1934, but we were never called for private negotiations. NHAI says this is a compulsory acquisition. Neither they adhere to J&K Land Acquisition Act provisions nor are they paying us as per central law and in between farmers of J&K are getting sandwiched. We will fight this tooth and nail and will not give our land to NHAI,” said Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat RTI Activists and Convener of Ring Road Land Owners Welfare Committee. Farmer leaders S.C Dubey, D.P Sharma, Haji Ghulam Hussain Sheikh and Balvinder Singh also spoke during the press conference. Kashmiri farmers alleged that Governor is not giving them appointment inspite of camping in Jammu from last 16 days.
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