Around 60% of the lands being acquired for the six-lane project are currently used for agricultural purposes; farmers say they were not given a choice and have not been told about the compensation they will receive
Farmers of Pallipattu, Uthukottai and Ponneri taluks in Tiruvallur are concerned over the quantum of compensation for their lands that are being taken for the proposed Chittoor-Thatchur Highway, NH -716B.
Around 60% of the lands being acquired for the six-lane project are currently used for agricultural purposes, and most farmers grow three crops of paddy a year, since a network of rivers, tanks and canals provide abundant water supply to these fields.
Sivaprakasam, a farmer, across whose field the road cuts through, said that they were being made to forcefully part with their lands. “We have not been given any option or choice. We have only been informed. Our objections were simply taken down and not considered. In such a situation, we have not been informed about how much compensation we will get,” he said.
He and his brother are now worried as to how their land on the other side of the road will get water supply for agricultural activities. “We spent ₹3 lakh on an irrigation system a few years ago. If any repairs are to be carried out in the future, we will not be able to undertake them, because the road will run through our property,” he added.
Seshadri, another farmer, said that officials were not responding properly to their queries. “The last time they were very rude to us. They told us we can agree to parting with the lands if we please or what is due to us would be deposited in court. We have trees on our lands. We don’t know how these will be valued. In another road project, politicians promised a certain rate but an RTI request showed a much lower rate. We are not just losing our lands, but the livelihood of generations to come,” he said.
Official sources in the National Highways Authority of India said that the compensation would be fixed soon and possession of lands would be taken in a couple of months.