Farmers seek proper compensation for acquired lands for Integrated Check Post

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Attari, Feb.17 (ANI): Even as the local administration here is leaving no stone unturned to ensure a smooth laying down of the foundation stone of the Rs.1.50 billion Integrated Check Post (ICP), farmers along the India-Pakistan border are waiting for an opportunity to register their protest over non-payment of adequate compensation for the acquired lands for the ICP.

A group of 30 farmers have joined hands to hand over a memorandum to the Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram during his expected visit here on February 20 for laying the foundation stone of checkpost, which is meant to enhance Indo-Pakistan trade ties with Pakistan.

The Punjab government has acquired 132 acres of land for the checkpost. It has paid three million rupees per acre for category 'A 'and 1.4 million rupees and less for the category 'C' land to the farmers.

The dissatisfied farmers say that they have taken the money under protest but have submitted their protest in the court of local Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM).

Amanjit Singh, a border farmer whose land was acquired, said that they were willing to give away their lands but the farmers deserve adequate compensation.

"The Government is making Integrated Check Post to boost the trade ties with Pakistan. First, Punjab government took 10 acres from us for parking and after that Central Government as per their policy took 122 acres and 30-32 families were involved in this. We took this issue and told the concerned authorities that we don't have any problem in giving our lands because we want that India should progress and especially Punjab should progress. World level trade will take place from here but we want due compensation to be given to us," said Amanjit Singh.

Meanwhile, another border farmer Rajinder Singh said that they even protested against not getting adequate rate for their lands acquired. "The current rate of land prevailing here was not given to us and we have protested against this," he said.

The farmers concern is that there is a huge difference in the commercial value of the fertile land and what the government was paying to them. By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)

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