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Land acquisition for Jewar Airport: Villagers worry about compensation

Poornima Joshi | | Updated on: Nov 30, 2021
Villagers in Nangla Hukum Singh

Villagers in Nangla Hukum Singh

Realtors in NCR region are excited by the property price escalation linked to the airport project but villagers are unhappy

Worries about displacement after acquisition of their village in Phase 2 of the Jewar airport development is fuelling resentment against the BJP even among the ruling party’s most ardent supporters in these parts. Nangla Hukum Singh, which is also known as Karauli Bangar, is among the six villages including Mundhera, Birampur, Kureb, Ranhera and Dayanatpur where social impact assessment of the airport development project has been carried out. Villagers here, most of whom had voted for the BJP MLA Thakur Dhirendra Singh in the 2017 Assembly elections, are seething with resentment over what they feel is a betrayal of their trust and attempts by the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority to acquire their land and displace them without due compensation or certainty of a job in the Jewar airport project which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Evolving political situation

With Assembly elections around the corner, the panchayat leaders gather to debate the political situation in the area that has been a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) bastion for two decades. Dhirendra Singh wrested it in 2017 in a pro-BJP wave. The villagers understand that the real contest in these polls is between the ruling BJP and the Samajwadi Party-led alliance which does not have much of voter support base in these parts. But the farmers’ movement has boosted the prospects of SP ally Jayant Chowdhary-led Rashtriya Lok Dal whose caste support base among the Jats is providing the necessary momentum against the BJP.

Chowdhary Dharmendra Sevach is a local BJP bigwig in Nangla Hukum Singh which has about 4,000 houses belonging to Jats, Jatavs, Valmikis, Prajapatis, Kumhars and Khati communities. He predicts a BJP win because “there is no alternative” but is against the displacement of his village. “I am also a farmer. The district administration is being dishonest. People here are upset but in the end, you watch — the BJP will win because ultimately it will be a Hindu-Muslim elections,” he says.

The crowd around him tries to shout him down. Ashish Chowdhary, who has been heading the panchayat, restores some order. “It is too early to say anything about elections. We are defending our livelihood and our land. In the six villages that were displaced because of the airport, they were given commercial prices but the circle rates were not increased. They should have got four times the price but they got two times the price of their land and 100 square metre land in the displacement site. We do not want to leave our village. If the administration wants us to go away, they have to make it worth our while. They give money as compensation but it vanishes. There is no job security and we lose our land in the process. It is not fair,” says Chowdhary.

‘Affected villages’

He counts six villages — Nangla Ganeshi, Rohi, Nangla Chitar, Nangla Sharif Khan, Dhayanatpur Kheda and Jhangira Jhopdi — as having been displaced without adequate compensation or land. “Our people have been hoodwinked. The airport would help real-estate developers in Greater Noida. But what will happen to us?” he asks.

The sentiment in the surrounding areas is similar. According to Rakesh Sharma in Sabota village, the BJP is a “master at creating mirages. We all have got sand in our eyes. We have been made fools of. There are no jobs and these people are taking away our land too,” he charges.

Published on November 30, 2021

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