More than 1,200 allottees have returned their flats in the past one year in Mandola township of UP Housing and Development Board as a result of continuous agitation by farmers who want compensation as per the new Land Acquisition Act. In a press conference held on Monday, housing board officials declared that Rs 96 cr has already been refunded to these allottees who had booked flats under various categories.
The housing board is developing the residential township over 2,612 acres, which had been notified for acquisition in 1998 under UP Housing & Development Board Act, 1965.
“So far, 2,300 acres have been acquired and a compensation of Rs 1,066 cr has been paid to the land owners while 66 writ petitions challenging the acquisition process have been turned down by the Allahabad high court. Farmers have been on agitation in Mandola since December 2016. The state government had formed a nine-member panel in May 2017 for talks with disgruntled farmers. However, they have remained adamant with their demand for compensation under the new act and skipped at least two meetings convened by the panel. Talks undertaken by the district administration have also failed,” said housing board commissioner Mahendra Prasad.
The state government panel had invited farmers for talks on May 18 and on December 22. “However, the meetings were not attended by all groups of farmers. Compensation rate for land acquired from six villages for the Mandola township had been recommended by district administration. The rate was decided in July 2009 by another panel, headed by divisional commissioner of Meerut, for determining land costs in NCR,” said Prasad.
The compensation rate pegged at Rs 1,100 per sqm for Mandola was the highest rate ever paid in Ghaziabad district in 2009, which was at par with the rate for land acquired for the Madhuban-Bapudham housing scheme of GDA. Circle rates of land in the six villages from which the land was acquired by the board ranged between Rs 148 and Rs 741 per sqm in 2009.