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Northern Patiala Bypass Land Acquisition row – villagers anguished with district administration over low compensation

Northern Patiala Bypass Land Acquisition row – villagers anguished with district administration over low compensation

Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in News/ April 19,2024

Recently, villagers from 24 villages met the DC, Patiala and district revenue officer (DRO) Patiala to lodge their protest against extremely low compensation being awarded for their land for possessing it for Northern Patiala Bypass.

“The protests will continue in the absence of any satisfactory answer or decision from the District authorities. There are more than 500 families that are affected” said a protesting villager

Delegation of villagers said “Northern Patiala Bypass was approved after the issuance of Government Notification 3A in August and October 2021, followed by Notification 3D which was issued three to four months after 3D notification. The Project was put on hold by NHAI for unknown reasons and the farmers were prohibited from selling/ transferring or even obtaining bank loans against their property.”

The villagers moved from pillar to post to execute, complete the pending formalities of land acquisition. But, the state government seems to not interested in executing the said project. They were ignoring all the correspondence being sent to them by NHAI. Farmers on finding themselves helpless, approached the Punjab & Haryana High Court for justice. It is on directions of the High Court that the Project has been reinitiated in February 2024” said another villager.

They added that DRO Patiala was appointed as the Competent Authority for Land Acquisition (CALA) for this Project.

The villagers alleged that the DRO “of not performing her duties in a rightful manner, as she being a new promotee, is under pressure from her bosses and a local leader to give minimum compensation to farmers. The reason for this decision of administration is that 50 percent of the land acquisition costs are to be borne by the State Government and the rest by the NHAI and the state government wants to save money”

The villagers added that “it is important to note that DRO in the capacity of CALA holds a ‘Quasi Judicial’ status and is required to function in an independent manner resisting external pressures. It is his/her responsibility to determine a fair compensation award to the farmers in accordance with Section 26 of RFCTLARR Act, 2013. Whereas the DRO/CALA ordered all the concerned Patwaris to exclude all the sale deeds that have been executed at higher rates in her opinion’ as also exclude all registered sale agreements vide letter dated 05/04/2024. She is clearly in violation of section 26 of the RFCTLARR Act, 2013 and is ignoring the law that clearly states that ‘Highest value sale deeds and registered agreement to sell, in near village and near vicinity are to be considered while calculating the base market rate’. She is clearly ignoring the Act.”

Northern Patiala Bypass Land Acquisition row – villagers anguished with district administration over low compensation

The villagers further added that “the DC has confirmed us that rates being given to the farmers are between Rs 35 to 40 Lakhs Per acre (including solatium, and other factors under the act). Whereas the base market rates at the time of notification 3A were very much higher especially in the case of villages Rongla, Jahlan, Wazidpur, Kalyan, Inderpura, Lachkani, Daun Khurd, Bibipur, Daun Kalan (Rs 50 to 70 Lakhs per acre, further village such as Jassowal and Sidhuwal (Rs 1.5 to 2 Crores Per Acre) and various other villages on the main road that is Chamarheri and Dhareri Jattan (Rs 3.5 to 4 Crores Per Acre). On the other hand, the awards passed by the DRO/ SDM (CALA) and Commissioner in the district of Patiala for the Southern Bypass in the year 2016 has been in the tune of 75 lakhs up to 2 Crores Per Acre. The present DC and the DRO are trying to achieve the base market rate at the time of the notification and are ignoring all the relevant criteria laid down under section 26 of the RFCTLARR Act, 2013. It is noteworthy that multiplication factor and solatium are payable over and above the determined market value as given at Sections 26(1) and 30(1) RFCTLARR Act 2013.”

The villagers said “the low compensations will result in farmers not given possession of their lands to the government. This will again be highlighted that farmers are not allowing development to take place. Whereas the poor farmers are not even getting the present day market value after application of factor, solatium etc as given in the act. This is clearly due to the laxity of the administration taking arbitrary decisions and completely ignoring the law to hide their mistakes and errors from before.”

Northern Patiala Bypass Land Acquisition row – villagers anguished with district administration over low compensation. When contacted the district revenue officer (DRO), Patiala, Gurleen Kaur, she said” I just want to say, the compensation will be awarded to all the 24 villages as per the rules, guidelines.”


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