Karnal farmers accuse govt of ‘opaque’ policy to acquire land for aviation club

By Times Of India on 26 May 2018 | read
Chandigarh: Farmers of Karnal, who could lose their land to Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) for the expansion of the Civil Aviation Club, accused the state government of keeping them in the dark about the policy adopted for land acquisition.

Upset with the response of the government and chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, the farmers, headed by Inderpreet Singh, said their land is being targeted just to increase the runway for landing and take-off of the CM’s official aircraft. They also threatened to approach the Prime Minister’s office (PMO) and BJP president Amit Shah to complain against Khattar and his officials.

“Currently, there are two policies, direct purchase policy adopted by the BJP-ruled state and land acquisition policy of the state government. However, the government has resorted to some middle agency to acquire land. We have no problem giving the land, but certainly not through a middleman. Let the government deal with us like their counterparts in Gujarat, Madhya Pardesh and Rajasthan, where governments acquired land for special projects by paying over and above the current market price,” said Inderpreet.

He also said the government has not been able to clarify why it needed the land. “For the past 15 years, we have been hearing about upgrade of the aviation club for parking or repair of aircraft. The project has remained on paper only,” he said.

Farmers said the project initially spanned more than 18 acres and in 2017, it increased to 28 acres. “Now, HSIIDC has expanded the project to 280 acres. Farmers/landowners are being misguided by the previous and current government,” said another affected farmer, Subhash Kumar. Farmers also accused the government of trying to divide them.