Protesting farmers invite Tikait to lead agitation


Lucknow : Farmers in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh, Mathura and Agra districts Thursday invited Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) chief Mahendra Singh Tikait to lead their protest to demand enhanced compensation for the land acquired by the Mayawati government for the Noida-Agra Yamuna Expressway.

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According to information reaching here from Tappal town in Aligarh – the epicentre of the agitation after two farmers died in police firing on the eve of Independence Day, a joint action committee of the farmers from three districts resolved to combine their agitation under Tikait.

The committee has already extended an invitation to Tikait, whose arrival is awaited at Tappal Friday.

Meanwhile, at least 500 farmers, including many women, continued with their indefinite sit-in at Tappal for parity in compensation with affected farmers in Greater Noida.

Though the Mayawati government Monday increased the compensation by Rs.120 from Rs.449 per square metre to Rs.570 per square metre, but the farmers still held out, demanding the rate of Rs.880 per square metre as was paid in Greater Noida.

A total of 2,500 hectare is to be acquired for the development of the 165-km long expressway which has been entrusted to Jaypee Associates. This includes 500 hectares each in Noida, Aligarh and Agra and 1,000 hectares in Gautam Buddha Nagar.

The expressway, which is expected to reduce the driving time between New Delhi and Agra to just about 90 minutes, will pass through Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida), Aligarh, Mahamaya Nagar (Hathras) and Mathura, and involves acquisition of land in 115 villages.