“Sorry, our land is not for sale”

FATEHABAD:“We have decided that we die before we sell even an inch of our land,” said Hans Raj, leader of the farmers of Goorakhpur- Kumharia village of Haryana, after a meeting of the villagers on Sunday.

The agitating farmers have been were camping outside the mini secretariat at Fatehabad town, to protest against the acquisition of over 1400 acres of their lands by the government for a nuclear power plant there for over 20 days. “There is no price for a land that gives crops thrice in a year for generations and generations. The land is our ancestral home, our livelihood, our identity and there is no way that we sell our mother for some nuclear power plant!” said Hans Raj.

The nuclear power plant being set up by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCI) at Kumahria in Fatehabad district of Haryana will be set up over an area of 1,400 acres. “People are agitated because government is ruining a fertile piece of land for creating a plant based on a hazardous technology. Agriculture is failing in all parts of the country and here each acre is giving over 1.5 tonnes of wheat, Government should help the farmers by putting up a plant of manure not taking their land,” Yashveer Arya, from Aazadi bachao Andolan said.

The farmers, on Sunday, decided to deny giving their land for the power plant at any cost, “There are discrepancies in the estimated cost of land but we are not comparing the market price, we are comparing the value of land as a grain producer and as a mere base of a power plant, There might be people whose land is not as fertile but it is not just a piece of land, for a farmer it is his entire life. What are the farmers expected to do after giving their land and what will the children do? Sorry our land is not for sale!” asked Mr Arya.

The land for the proposed plant has been surveyed and marked and the acquisition is yet to start but the farmers said that no one from the administration had approached them and they intended to continue to resent the land acquisition. The leaders claimed that their agitation was not about negotiating a ‘better deal’, “Whether the land is very fertile, fertile or barren and irrespective of whether the rates are comparable to that of National capital region (NCR) or not, we will not leave our land. No land owner can be force us out of his homes and farms on the plea of creating a power plant,” said Shyam Sharma.

When asked if they were agitating because certain reports suggested that Government was acquiring land at cheaper prices from the farmers and giving it to builders at exorbitant prices, Hans Raj said, “What price they put on our future’s destruction is not an issue. Land means more then life and we are ready to give our lives instead of ruining future of al the generations.”
Published on 6th Sep 2010

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