Villagers protest against proposed land acquisition bid for Azamgarh airport expansion

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Residents of four villages – Jamua, Jimia, Hasanpur and Kadipur – have written a joint letter to India’s Chief Justice, Prime Minister’s Office, Union Home Minister and Minister of Aviation on October 14, urging them to take notice of the matter.

In the letter, the villagers claim that 50,000 people will be displaced by the proposed project.

The villagers alleged that there was a connection between the companies and the politicians, and that the local administration intended to carry out a forced acquisition.

Jaan de denge lekin zameen nahi (we will sacrifice our lives but not leave our land),” reads the letter signed by the farmers.

“According to the tax documents, modernization and expansion was planned on the east side of the airport, which is arid, non-agricultural land. But they changed the plan and are carrying out a survey in the west side, which is a violation of the original plan,” said a farmer who lives in close proximity to the airport.

In addition to writing letters and organizing sit-ins in the village of Jamua, the farmers sent “asahmati patra (disagreement letters)” en masse to the authorities concerned.

“We don’t want an airport but good schools, hospitals and a university,” they wrote.

Regarding connectivity, locals say that Azamgarh is well served by rail. Two airports, Varanasi and Kushinagar, are located within 150 km from Azamgarh.

Asked about the compensation factor, an aggrieved farmer launched a counter-question: “We will receive apartments with compensation, but where will the cattle go? Will they also be moved to an apartment? »

Referring to Narmada Bachao Aandolan (NBA), Rajiv Yadav said, “We have seen in MP and Gujarat… Those who were displaced 20 years ago due to the Sardar Sarovar dam project, are still fighting for compensation”.

“One of my quittances built a new house. He spent over 35 lakhs. Will the government compensate? No,” Rajiv said.

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