The recent resentment and agitation in one of the villages in Noida calls for a review of Land Acquisition Norms. Often, under pressure to develop housing societies and build express ways, Governments are forces to acquire the land of farmers. In many cases the farmers get a compensation package which is much below the commercial value of the land from which they earn a living! What makes the issue of land acquisition more painful for the farmers is that they lose the means of earning a living. The financial package is soon depleted on luxuries like cars, mobiles, plasmas t.vs. to mention just a few! Once the money is depleted, the farmers have nothing left from which to earn a living! No wonder, the crime graph in various rural areas are on the rise, and you can imagine how unemployment, and the enjoyment of a brief but high standard of living makes the youth unable to go for lower paying jobs!
It is high time the various State Governments should work out a more rational and transparent compensation package for farmers whose land is being acquired, keeping in mind that their livelihood is being snatched from them. Keeping all these facts in mind, the compensation package should be at least two to four times the market value of the land. A situation should be created where farmers come forward to the Government with offers of getting their land acquired! Unfortunately, haphazard growth of urban areas, lack of master plans for major cities, bottlenecks on highway, encroachments and a burgeoning population have all added to the problem. Also, building of express ways has become rather fashionable. I don’t understand why perfectly good roads are being torn up to make way for the so called express ways. Perhaps what makes express ways more attractive is the toll tax collected by them! Thus till now, it is clear that farmers are at the losing end when their land is acquired by the Government, unless of course they sell their land to a private developer who would pay them a better amount for their land!