Denied meeting with LG, Budgam farmers say Govt's 'wrong policies' frustrating

File Photo of Manoj Sinha : Image Source Wikipedia

Farmers affected by Srinagar ring road project in central Kashmir’s district Budgam on Thursday alleged that they were denied meeting with lieutenant governor, Manoj Sinha in Budgam, despite repeated pleas.

“In spite of the fact that 1000 families are getting affected with the Ring Road as 3800 kanals of land is being acquired by the Government for the new highway connecting Pampore with Ganderbal via Budgam,” chairman of Ring Road Land Owners Welfare Committee, G A Paul said in a statement issued here.

Paul said that farmers had in advance updated the district administration Budgam about facilitating their meeting with Lt Governor during his visit to Budgam but the same was denied due to unknown reasons

“We had informed the officer In-charge about our meeting with LG more than 10 days back, but we are unable to understand why we were denied the appointment in spite of the fact that 3800 kanals of land acquisition is the burning issue of 1000 farmer families,” he said.

He said that a group of farmers were aghast and wanted to protest outside DC office Budgam.

“We thought it may lead to law and order problems and thus changed the programme. We appeal LG Sinha to give us a separate appointment for discussing our issue,” said Paul.

He added that Government’s wrong policies regarding land acquisition were “frustrating” farmers and government must issue fresh notification for construction of Srinagar Ring Road as compensation awards approved  by the Financial Commissioner are illegal as the time for making these awards has already lapsed as per section 11-B.

“Section 11-B of JK Land Acquisition Act 1934 (now repealed) clearly says that awards have to be prepared within 2 years of time from the date of issuance of section 4 and 6 notifications. In case of majority of Budgam villages the notification was issued in 2017 which lapsed in 2019 and after 3 ½ years Govt is preparing the awards which is completely illegal. New notification under Right to Fair Compensation law 2013 has to be issued and we wanted to apprise LG about the same but we were denied the appointment which is highly condemnable “said Ghulam Ali, affected farmers from Ichgam Budgam.