GREATER NOIDA: Protests by nearly 15,000 farmers of Greater Noida have finally yielded results. The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday approved a leaseback policy for abadi land in the city.
The policy, hanging fire for the last two years, promises return of acquired abadi land to the farmers. It was passed by GNIDA board in January 2013. "The policy has been approved (by the government) from the date of issue of the government order," Rama Raman, the chairperson and CEO of Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority told TOI.
Farmers are elated as they will now be entitled to receive their land back from the government. "This land has been acquired by the government but we have not taken any compensation for it," said Manveer Bhati, a farmer leading the agitation under the banner of the Kisan Sangarsh Samiti.
According to Bhati, who hails from Bisrakh village, farmers from 43 villages of Greater Noida had been agitating for the approval of the leaseback policy.
"Land, measuring from 20 to 250 acres in various villages, will now be returned to us. It is a great victory for us and we thank the government for finally paying heed to our demand," he added.
In fact, the farmers had been staging protests at the Kisan chowk in Greater Noida for over a month.
In the recent past, they had intensified their stir, forcing officials to assure them that their demands would be conveyed to UP chief minister Akhilesh Singh.
However, in abadi regularization matter, the Authority can only leaseback land to a villager if he is in its possession and originally belongs to that particular area.
In October 2011, the UP government had decided to regularize up to 3,000 sq m of such land of each family in Greater Noida and up to 5,000 sq m of each family in the area under the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA).
In Noida, the exemption limit is 450 sq m for each family. In case the land of a farmer is required for planned development, he has to be given an equal land at another site.
However, suspecting a major scam in the abadi settlement scheme of Greater Noida, a few of the members of the high powered committee, which took a final call on abadi settlement, refused to sign the documents in February 2013.