Hyderabad: Farmers reject land acquisition plan
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Maddy Deekshith
Hyderabad: Farmers of Pratap Singaram have rejected Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority’s proposal of foregoing their lands in exchange for 30 per cent plotted area developed over 593 acres of their village.
Incidentally, HMDA is planning to develop plots over 1,500 acres of land belonging to three villages including Pratap Singaram under its Land Pooling Scheme. The authority has offered plots in the ratio of 70:30 to be shared between HMDA and land owners within the villages. However, farmers, including public representatives of the area cutting across party lines, want the ratio to be 30:70 in their favour, in addition to Rs 5,000 per month aid to villagers for up to three till the land is fully developed.
Farmers also contend that while per acre market rate of the land in the area is Rs 5 crore, HMDA is offering them only Rs 24 lakh per acre.
Following this, HMDA authorities held a Grama Sabha in the area on Saturday, so that villagers could okay the Land Pooling Scheme proposed by it. The meeting was attended by HMDA authorities, former MLA M. Sudheer Reddy, local leaders and a huge number of farmers. HMDA reiterated its proposal to develop 593 acres into plots and provide all civic amenities. The metropolitan authority would give 30 percent of the plotted area to donors of land while it would hold 70 percent of the plots, which it would auction. The authorities sought consent of farmers to the LPS proposal, wherein farmers would get compensation, which is double the government market value.
Farmers rejected this proposal outright. They made a counter offer saying they would give up their lands to metropolitan authority it 70 percent of the developed plots were handed over to them.
Their contention was that by giving up their land, they would be losing their livelihood of cultivating it for any income. One of them, Nagender Reddy said barring residential areas, the entire Pratap Singaram village is covered by agricultural land. "How can we leave our village, which has been producing 73,000 quintals of paddy, for urbanisation," he asked.
Nagender Reddy said the proposal of HMDA would displace the entire village. After giving up their land, farmers will have to wait for three years to get developed plots. "What should the farmers do during the development period, sit idle?" he asked.
Village sarpanch Shivashanker said villagers would not give their consent to HMDA until the authority came up with an amicable proposal. "We are not ready to give up our livelihood for urbanisation until decent compensation is given," he remarked.
A similar stand has been taken at Grama Sabhas held in the other two villages in Rangareddy and Medchal-Malkajgiri districts.
HMDA officials point out that farmers or owners with small portions of land can form groups and partner with HMDA under the Land Pooling Scheme and reap its benefits. They would get plots with the brand ‘developed by HMDA’, which would increase the market value of their plots. They would get well-serviced housing plots with world-class infrastructure like water supply, power, sewerage, parks, sewerage treatment plants, and so on, which would enhance land value and salability. Officials point out that there is a potential for development of commercial and institutional activity around the LPS area. Land reserved for social infrastructure like parks, playgrounds, community halls will be a part of the scheme.
An official underlined that sharing of developed plots between landowners and HMDA can only be in a definite ratio based on the project cost.