No rail coach factory, Rae Bareli farmers woe

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Rae Bareli/ New Delhi/ Lucknow, Oct 13: With Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati cancelling the land allotment for a rail coach factory project at Lalganj in Rae Bareli, which was proposed by Congress president and Lok Sabha MP in her constituency, farmers here are a dejected lot. They feel the project could have provided a number of jobs and ensured the overall development of the region.

"We also want that we get jobs at this rail coach factory apart from farming. We would be able to earn money and will eke out living for our family that way," said Shivshankar Vajpayee, a farmer.

The Uttar Pradesh Government had yesterday cancelled the allotment of 189.25 hectares of land for a new state-run railway coach factory in Rae Bareli district.

Lashing out at State Chief Minister Mayawati, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav said, "It is a misfortune for the people of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar that they are governed by a government which is against development. They don't provide you land on time. The land in Uttar Pradesh which is being refused was already given to the government by the 'gram sabha' (village council)."

State authorities cited resentment among displaced farmers as the reason for the cancellation of the land deal.

"After getting the letter from the district magistrate, revenue department, which is the nodal office of the state's revenue department, ordered cancellation of land that was allotted for the railway coach factory after examining the situation there. It was mentioned in the letter that situation has been aggravated. There are possibilities of law and order problem as the residents of the nearby land are agitated. The situation might turn violent," said Lucknow Divisonal Commissioner Vijay Shankar Pandey.

The State Government has suggested alternate sites for the Rupees 22-billion railway project, he added.

The Uttar Pradesh Government had given the land for the factory in Rae Bareli on May 19 this year through a government order. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was scheduled to inaugurate the project on Tuesday.

After scrapping Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Energy's Special Economic Zone (SEZ) on a 1200-acres plot in NOIDA in May last year, this is the second major project cancelled by the Mayawati -led government in Uttar Pradesh.


ANI

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