The Fact News Service
Ludhiana, August 18
The land acquisition for major National Highways projects has not faced strong resistance from farmers in general. However, in some cases, including a few in the State of Punjab, resistance by farmers for increase in compensation has been reported.
This has been revealed by the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Jairam Gadkari in reply to a question asked by MP (Rajya Sabha) from Ludhiana Sanjeev Arora in the recently concluded Monsoon Session of Rajya Sabha. Arora had asked whether it is a fact that land acquisition for major National Highways projects has been hanging fire across the country, including Punjab, due to strong resistance by the farmers on account of less compensation for their lands under acquisition.
Further, Arora had also asked whether there is any plan to enhance compensation and ensure the completion of pending land acquisition proceedings for the National Highways projects, especially for Punjab.
Giving this information here today, Arora said the Minister further mentioned in his reply that though the land for the National Highways is acquired under the provisions of National Highways Act, 1956, compensation of land is decided as per the provisions of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 which is 2 to 4 times of the determined market value of the land.
Meanwhile, Arora said still if farmers/landowners are not satisfied they can move for Arbitration which is carried out by Divisional Commissioner. His order is final and binding on NHAI. He added farmers/landowners cannot refuse to give acquisition as ordered by the highest courts of land.
Arora said there is a dire need to create a mass awareness regarding the fact that the land for the National Highways is acquired after giving fair compensation to the concerned landowners or farmers. He added those who resist such land acquisitions must understand the importance of national Highways which play a very important role in the economic and social development of the country. He said National Highways enable efficient movement of freight and passengers and improve access to the market.