Govt wants to acquire land cheaply, farmers up in arms

Hyderabad, June 07: Farmers are up in arms against the land acquisition for the proposed National Security Guards (NSG) regional centre, 65 km from the city in the Greater Hyderabad area. The NSG centre is to be located in 1182 acres at Chandanvelli village of Shabad mandal.

The centre was proposed in the city after the terror attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008. This was part of the plan of the Union home ministry to have regional centres in cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. The state government had also promised to allot the land on a priority basis.

The Union home ministry officially sought the land in February 2009 and expressed a preference for land close to the international airport at Shamshabad. This, however, was not possible, because of unavailability of land.

After scouting for land at various places including in Ibrahimpatnam and Maheshwaram mandals, the authorities identified 1182 acres land in survey no 190 of Chandanvelli village of Shabad mandal. On June 4, the angry farmers disallowed the survey teams from taking measurements of the land.

Scores of farmers even staged a dharna at the Shahbad mandal revenue office and RDO office at Chevella demanding withdrawal of the plan to acquire their land on Friday.

As the farmers were not giving up on their demand, officials called representatives of farmers for talks on Saturday.

Nearly 400 farmers and 55 freedom fighters and ex-servicemen have been cultivating the land for the past two decades. While 350 acres were allotted to the freedom fighters and ex-servicemen, 800 acre land is with the farmers. Against the land acquisition, the farmers are being offered a compensation of Rs 1.65 lakh per acre. As per the rules in vogue if land is the only source of livelihood for them, the farmers are eligible to get additional 30 per cent of this basic compensation amount.

Officials said farmers are opposing the land acquisition for the NSG centre and some farmers are demanding Rs 15 lakh per acre compensation if their land is acquired as the market value per acre is more than Rs 30 lakh.

“Our survey teams returned from the villages due to the stiff resistance from the farmers. The district administration has begun negotiations with the farmers,” Chevella revenue divisional officer V Ratnakar told TOI on Saturday.

According to authorities, such a huge extent of land is not available in other places close to the city. The land which was identified in the beginning in Ibrahimpatnam was “Bhoodan” land.

The NSG wing, which was raised by the cabinet secretariat under National Security Guards Act, 1985, is also asking more land near the international airport. Since the land is under the control of the Airports Authority of India, the district administration expressed its inability to provide that land.