Farmers' protest throws Noida traffic out of gear

Noida (Uttar Pradesh) Dec 21 : Farmers of Greater Noida staged a sit-in at the Noida Gate at Sector 14 Saturday, causing a huge pile up of traffic at the DND (Delhi-Noida Direct) flyway and Noida-Greater Noida Expressway in Uttar Pradesh.

The farmers, under the banner of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), protested against the Samajwadi Party government in the state for not keeping the promises it made for increased compensation for land acquired and plots to farmers whose lands were taken for the Yamuna Expressway.

BKU district president Ajay Pal Sharma said farmers were staging the protest at Chhalarpur underpass near the Formula 1 Race Circuit for over a month but no government official so much as visited the site.

On Saturday, the farmers in 400 tractor-trolleys came to meet the Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway authorities' chairman Rama Raman at his residence in Sector-14A.

They were not allowed to meet the official and security personnel closed the main entrance gate of Sector-14A. Farmers halted their vehicles on the main road at Noida Gate.

The farmers waited for more than three hours, blocking traffic on DND, the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway and Noida Gate.

BKU spokesman Rakesh Tikait reached the site and announced that the farmers have decided to grant authorities time till Jan 26, 2014 to fulfil their demands of 64 percent increased compensation and a plot at the ratio of 10 percent to the farmers.

If their demands were not met, they would put a padlock on the main gate of the Noida authority where the chairman's office is situated, Tikait warned.

Farmers'leader Dushyan Nagar said the Samajwadi Party had announced in its manifesto that farmers would be granted 64 percent higher compensation than earlier announced by the state government, a plot to the ratio of 10 percent of acquired land and waiver of farmers' loans. Free electricity to farmers was also promised but none of these promises were made good, he said. The Kisan Sangharsh Samiti has pledged its support to the BKU in its agitation.

"The government has formed a committee to look into the issues of farmers. The farmers' leaders today announced a time limit till Jan 26, 2014. I hope some amicable solution would be found by then," Hira Lal Gupta, district magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar, said.

--IANS (Posted on 21-12-2013)

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