DIBRUGARH, Oct 14 � Hundreds of farmers, including women and senior citizens, took out a 70-km padyatra from the Desang Banglabari village under the Tingkhong Revenue Circle to the office of the Deputy Commissioner here, seeking a fair value for their land acquired for the two-lane NH-52 (B) Road Project connecting Kanubari in Arunachal Pradesh to Borborooah in Dibrugarh district via Sapekati in Sivasagar district.
The affected people started the padyatra yesterday morning and reached the DC�s office here at 1.20 pm today. The farmers joining the padyatra were from four Assembly constituencies � Tingkhong, Lahoal, Moran and Dibrugarh.
After marching some 45 km in scorching heat, the farmers spent the night at the Nizam LP School near Jokai and resumed their march this morning. As the padyatra reached here this afternoon, the district administration deployed policemen along the Mancotta Road in order to thwart its advance towards the DC�s office. On being stopped, the farmers held a meeting near the DC�s office on the Mancotta Road.
The leaders of the padyatra warned the district administration that they would not allow the construction of the proposed NH-52 (B) if they were not paid fair compensation for their acquired land and properties.
The affected people under the banner of the NH-52 (B) Khyotigrosto Suraksha Samiti Joutho Mancha said they would lay down their lives for the cause of justice. �We will neither vacate the demarcated land, nor allow the construction of the proposed national highway till we get justice,� Bolindra Saikia, one of the leaders of the Mancha, stated. He demanded that the administration should implement the National Highways Act, 1956 for land acquisition since the construction of the proposed NH-52 was made known through a gazette notification under Section 48 of the Act.
It may be mentioned here that according to information drawn through the RTI, one bigha of land for the same NH-52 (B) project in Sivasagar district has been valued between Rs 2,00,000 to Rs 8,00,000, whereas the valuation for one bigha of land in Dibrugarh district is about Rs 20,000 to Rs 2,00,000 only.
The affected families have also demanded proper valuation of paddy fields, tea bushes and other resources of utility, besides the reconstruction of the public libraries, clubs, namghars and educational institutions which will have to be removed. A memorandum was submitted to the Prime Minister through the district administration, apprising him of the alleged anomalies and injustice in the process of land acquisition for the project.
The NH-52 (B) Khyotigrosto Suraksha Samiti Joutho Mancha, a conglomerate formed by the affected families, has members from the CPI (ML), Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, Satra Mukti Sangram Samiti and land protection committees of Sapekati Grant Gaon, Keseruguri, Dhowapathar, Tipomia, Joonktoli, Banglabari, Kumarsuk, Rangabonani, Sukani, Sologuri, Jokai, Naukhat, Lengeri, Nasani and Ouguri.