Powered by

Home India

Farmer protest in Greater Noida: Job promise unfulfilled, after land acquisition

Farmers Protest Greater Noida: They did not acquire the land from us, but rather obtained it through a mutual agreement.

By Shishir Agrawal
New Update
farmers protest in Greater Noida

हिंदी में पढ़ें । Ramesh Chandra (66) resides in Junpat village and used to own approximately 12 bighas of land. However, the Greater Noida Development Authority acquired his land in several transactions, resulting in a total payment of Rs 14 lakh. Ramesh utilized this sum to construct a house, but as a consequence, he no longer possesses any land suitable for farming.

“I got my two daughters married with the money I got. After this I got my house built. While taking the land, we were told that our boys would be given jobs. I have 3 sons, none has got a job, nor do I have any land.”

Ramesh Chandra (66) farmer from Junpat village

While talking with Ground Report, these farmers reveal that the authority acquired certain land to establish a factory. But, later residential flats made on that land. Further, the protesting farmers assert that they were promised a 10% share of these flats. Yet, only 6% have been allocated to them. Consequently, they find themselves devoid of any meaningful resources.

The vision of 'Greater Noida'

During the nineties, a vision emerged to establish a fully organized city between Ghaziabad and Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh. This city would encompass employment opportunities, residences, and serve as a model smart city for the country. To bring this vision to life, the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority was established in January 1991 under the Uttar Pradesh Industrial Area Development Act of 1976. This authority was entrusted with the responsibility of designing, developing, regulating, and operating the city now known as Greater Noida.

The farmers in Greater Noida are protesting against government's failure to fulfill its promises

Approximately 38 thousand hectares of land across 124 villages were acquired for the development of this city. However, it is crucial to note that the land acquisition process was not carried out in one instance. Instead, it was divided into various sub-projects such as constructing a residential colony, implementing rail and metro systems, and establishing factories. Consequently, the areas previously occupied by expansive agriculture fields underwent a gradual transformation into a concrete jungle.

Animal husbandry: an unprofitable venture

His two buffaloes generate the income that supports his family. But, the considerable expenses of their upkeep make sustaining his household challenging for Ramesh Chandra. "My family is going hungry," he lamented when asked about their well-being, responding with, one-line replies. In addition to these hardships, he disclosed that he had borrowed approximately 2 lakhs for his daughters' weddings. Now, this debt is proving increasingly difficult to repay.

Shyam Singh, a 62-year-old resident of Junpat village, talks about his 33 bighas of land. He jointly owned this land with his brother. He now finds himself with a mere 6 bighas remaining. With concern for his two children and his brother's three children, Shyam Singh wonders how they will provide for themselves. Their main source of income comes from selling milk. However, the continuous increase in the cost of fodder at Rs 15 per kg and khal at Rs 50 per kg, while the selling price of milk remains stagnant, provides little relief. Shyam Singh concludes that animal husbandry has become an unprofitable venture.

Acquisition method in question

The authority has taken Krishnapal's 4 bigha land in Palla village, and he raises questions about the process of land acquisition.

Krishanpal, a farmer from Palla village

They did not acquire the land from us, but rather obtained it through a mutual agreement. If it had been acquired, additional compensation would be required, according to the new law. Accordingly, our land would have been sold for 1 crore 10 lakh. However, by cancelling our Gram Sabha, they falsely portrayed the area as urban. Hence, we were not provided with adequate compensation."

Krishnapal says, “Modi ji keeps doing his 'Man ki Baat'. But he never listens farmers 'Man ki Baat'. They are imposing their point of view on us and farmers are being exploited in a big way.

Unfulfilled commitment of employment

Families in these areas face an increasingly daunting task of sustaining their livelihoods through farming due to their minimal land holdings. The farmers, in the ongoing Farmers Protest in Greater Noida, willingly relinquished their land in hopes of securing employment opportunities for their children. But, now they find themselves deeply disappointed as this promise remains unfulfilled. Veer Singh Nagar, the Coordinator of All India Kisan Sabha in Gautam Budh Nagar District, highlights that the scarcity of available land and the consequent lack of job opportunities has a profound impact on the farmers and their families.

“Our boys are not being given employment in the local industrial units. They are fired by calling them local. People outside the radius of 200 km are given work which is wrong.”

Veer Singh Nagar, District Coordinator of All India Kisan Sabha, Gautam Buddha Nagar

It is necessary to mention here that according to an order passed by the Uttar Pradesh government in the year 2021, it is mandatory to reserve 40 per cent of jobs in the private sector for the local people of the state. However, the ground reality is very different. According to the media report, even at the construction site of the airport being built in Jewar, the locals are not being given employment. In such a situation, the words of the protesting farmers seem even more true.

Note: We have made multiple attempts reaching out to the Greater Noida Development Authority to gather their perspective on this matter. However, our efforts to speak with an official have been unsuccessful thus far. Rest assured, we will promptly update the story upon receiving a response from the administration.

Keep reading

Follow Ground Report for Climate Change and Under-Reported issues in India. Connect with us on FacebookTwitterKoo AppInstagramWhatsapp and YouTube. Write us on [email protected]