Rohi Village in the Jewar District of Uttar Pradesh has been at the centre of a feud between the local villagers and Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) over the construction of the proposed international airport in Jewar.
Rohi village has been acquired by YEIDA completely and will be razed for Phase 1 of the new airport.
Compensations handed out by the Uttar Pradesh government total around Rs 3,000 crore, with pay-outs for individual families extending to Rs 8.4 crore for nearly 40 bighas or Rs 21 lakh/bigha.
This compensation process has been questioned by the villagers who either don’t have land or have different professions. These villagers would get less compensation than others in the village.
Rohi- a village or a city?
Virendra Singh, 39, a farmer at Rohi village, claimed, “Ours has always been a rural area, and as directed by authorities we would have got four times the compensation but now the authorities giving us only two times the value, which means they are considering Rohi to be a city,” he said.
Virendra Singh was talking about clause 12 (A) of Uttar Pradesh Industrial Development Area Act, 1976 which abolishes panchayat for an industrial area. According to the farmer, Rohi Village stands as a city in government files.
Compensation promised to everyone, a handful received
“All of us were promised lakhs of compensation. Till now only 8-10 people have received the amount, that too lesser than what was promised ,” said Virendra Singh, a resident of the village.
The villagers are facing all kinds of problems related to less compensation, a ban on their farming land and the shifting of their homes.
While most of them complained about receiving no compensation from the government, Satyendra Singh was more than happy to show off his new car, bike and fridge all bought from the money he received as compensation.
“I never imagined that one day I’ll be able to buy a car. All my dreams got fulfilled after I received the money. The only problem is only a few have received the money, I hope everyone gets their share of money as soon as possible,” said Singh.
No farming till further notice
The main problem face by the villagers is a ban on their farming land. Most of them complained that they won’t be able to continue farming as their land would be taken away from them.
“The present crop would be harvested in March. The government has asked us not to sow the next crop as the land acquisition process has started. It is really disheartening to see our land going away from us,” said Sharda Devi, a 60-year-old resident of Rohi village.
“The village has a special place in my heart. I was married here, had my kids, saw them grow, married them off and even had my grand kids here. It is hard to leave all these memories behind and go to a totally new place,” she added .
No Jobs, No Compensation, No Future
According to the Land Acquisition Act 2013, the circle rate of land is rural areas amounts to 30 lakhs compensation that is around four times the original price but in the case of a city, the rate amounts to 15 lakhs that is twice the original price. In this case, the villagers complain that less money is being provided because the village has been established as a city. The villagers feel ‘cheated’ on.
On the other hand, Jewar’s Sub-District Magistrate, Abhay Singh, said, “After the population count, Rohi had 125 farmers as of 2018 for whom we allocated Rs 10, 06, 31,212. The employment opportunities will only come when the airport’s construction begins and there will be more openings when the airport is operational.”
He confirmed that an electronic transfer of compensation money has been done for the land that was acquired till 6 May 2019.
Text by Harshit Mansukhani and Shivanshi Tomer
Videos by Harshit Mansukhani and Shivanshi Tomer
Photos by Debomitra Das