More than 3000 farmers from 15 villages of Haryana blocked the Gurugram-Jaipur Expressway on Sunday 15th October demanding just compensation for over 1800 acres of their land which had been acquired by the Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC).
These farmers have been carrying on an agitation in support of this demand since the last 200 days. However, with HSIIDC refusing to fulfil their claims, the farmers decided to block the highway, with the aim of forcing the state government to address their demands. According to the farmers, the market rate of the land is more than Rs 10 crore per acre, but the government is offering them only Rs 91 lakh (the base price of Rs 55 lakh plus interest) per acre.
Till now, the government has been making empty promises to resolve the issue. It has also held out other “carrots” to make the farmers agree with its proposed compensation, such as jobs for affected farmers, but the jobs have not materialised.
After carrying out a day long blockade of the highway, the farmers relented and lifted the blockade in the evening. They declared that they will continue the struggle for adequate compensation for their lands, and for additional plots of land elsewhere.
It is a fact that governments at the centre or state do not fulfil the conditions of just compensation to farmers for their land acquired for “public purpose”, nor are people thus displaced ever given the promised jobs. The struggle being waged by the Haryana farmers is part of the struggle of farmers across the country in defence of their livelihood and rights.