STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Adopting an aggressive posturing for the cause of farming community of the State, Harsh Dev Singh, Chairman JKNPP and former Minister, expressed grave concern over the forcible expropriation of the lands of the farmers for various public works including roads, rails, irrigation and PHE projects etc without compensating them adequately for the loss of their livelihood and subsistence.
Expressing grave concern over the pitiable plight of the farmers who constitute around 80 per cent of the State population, he said they were suffering immensely not only due to vagaries of weather but also the despicable apathy shown by the government towards their concerns. He said the farmers are in distress and utter depression in the State due to continuous crop failures, destruction of agricultural fields caused due to floods and rains, loss of cattle and other live stock, crash in the price of agricultural produce, non provision of Minimum Support Price (MSP) with utter apathy shown by the government towards the said concerns. He deplored that the farmers are a forgotten community today with agriculture related issues having completely disappeared from the imagination of the rulers. He further regretted that the State Government had added to further gloom and doom by resorting to large scale acquisition of lands from agriculturists in various districts at throw away prices thus divesting the farmers of their small holdings in the name of public utility works.
He said that lands of farmers were being acquired at negligible prices the latest instance being the expropriation of several thousand of Kanals of land in the construction of Ring road Jammu and even free of cost in certain cases by the government in several places in J and K notwithstanding the fact that all other states of the country were paying two to four times the market value of land sought to be acquired by their respective governments for public purposes under the revised Land Acquisition Law enacted by UPA Government in 2013. Seeking the extension of ‘Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act’ (LARR Act of 2013) to the State of J and K, Harsh regretted the forcible expropriation of land from farmers in the J and K State by the State and Central Government at negligible prices for construction of roads, railway tracks, construction of school and hospitals buildings, irrigation canals besides other works.
Demanding the extension of LARR Act 2013 to the state in its original form as conceptualised by erstwhile UPA Government, Harsh observed that the said legislation would not only ensure adequate compensation to the affected farmers but also provide employment to atleast one member of the family whose lands would be acquired by the government.
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