G’bad: Petitioner files case in HC over state undertaking selling community land to Magnum Paper Mill in Sahibabad

Sushil Raghav, a resident of Karkarmodel village in Sahibabad, Ghaziabad alleged that the UPSIDCL now UPSIDA did not return parcel of Abadi land belonging to his family that it required to return as per law; rather that land was sold to the industry

Farmers whose land was acquired by the state and handed over to Uttar Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation (UPSIDC) Ltd got a raw deal even as the UPSIDCL sold the land to industrialists while the farmers got peanuts, alleged Sushil Raghav, whose family had been affected by the acquisition since long back. Many of them are today living a life of penury while the UPSIDC had shamelessly sold their land to the industry in many cases illegally, he added.

Sushil Raghav, a resident of Karkarmodel village of Sahibabad pointed out, “Land of 7 villages was taken away in 1970s through a notification of the Governor for industrial purposes, even as farmers were reluctant to give their land. However, the land that legally belonged to the farmers—that is Abadi land was not handed back as the UPSIDC said that community facilities would be built over these khasras. However later on UPSIDC officials sold the land meant for community purposes again to an industrialist, thereby duping the farmers.”

Raghav said that now he has petitioned the Allahabad HC to get justice in the matter. In his application to the High Court Raghav had said “that  as promised to the farmers no rehabilitation was done by the administration and no employment was given in UPSIDCL and in the industries that were illegally set up on acquired land.” He also stated in his application that a meager compensation of Rs 1.10 per sq. yard was handed out to the farmers whereas the acquired land was sold out at same time for Rs 30-85 per square yard to industrialists.

Thus around 1,682 acres of land was acquired for setting up the area known today as Sahibabad Industrial Area. However, Raghav alleged that the district administration illegally acquired even the Abadi land of the farmers in violation od established law. He says in his letter that, “This acquisition of Abadi land was done in violation of Article 31-A of the Constitution of India, various sections of Land Acquisition Act 1894 and various orders of the Supreme Court of India.”

Besides acquiring the Abadi land the UPSIDC also fraudulently allotted the land meant for community facilities totaling 7 acres to the industrialists, alleged Raghav in his petition adding that these plots were plot No.18/41, 18/42, 18/43, 18/44, E-1, E-2, E-3, E-4,E-5,E-6 and E-7 as named by the UPSIDC.

The farmers who were reluctant kept raising ther voice to get back the Abadi land, said the petition. According to Raghav, “The farmers made several representations to the government of Uttar Pradesh and Central government for getting back their Abadi lands.”

Finally, the state government issued a Government order dated 29 August 1970 No.H.Govt.L.N.3228A/39-22(GZB)/70 which directed the release of said Abadi lands of villages Sahibabad and Jhandapur. The farmers applied under the said G.O. before the UPSIDCL and District Magistrate to release their Abadi lands. The district administration released the Abadi lands of farmers of Karkarmodel, Jhandapur, Sahibabad and some land of Karkarmodel farmers were released that was in rakba  (purview) of Jhandapur village and Sahibabad. The farmers deposited the compensation back in the account of the Special land Acquisition Officer (SLAO) Ghaziabad and their land was released afterwards, Raghav’s petition stated.

Raghav told delhincrnews.in that his family whose land was taken away made several representations to the state government to get back their Abadi land from 1974 to 1994- a long span of time. As a result, the Special Land Acquisition Officer (SLAO) Ghaziabad in response to the communications by the relatives of the petitioner wrote a letter dated 22.04.1992 to the Regional Manager UPSIDCL, Ghaziabad and stated to take appropriate action to release the Abadi land of petitioner’s grandfather but no step was taken by the officials of UPSIDCL Ghaziabad in this regard for releasing the Abadi land as returned to other farmers, he said.

After these representations and intervention by local politicians in favour of the farmers, eventually UPSIDCL in the year 1992 wrote to Raghav’s uncle that the land of some khasras such as No.462, 463, 464 and 752 which were handed over to the UPSIDCL by the district administration were earmarked for community facilities and hence they were unable to return these plots of Abadi land.

The poor farmers kept on making representations despite the UPSIDCL’s excuse, said Raghav and added that his uncle later on became ill and subsequently died. However, “illegally, fraudulently and with motive of earning illegal money by way of corruption the UPSIDCL leased out the land earmarked for community facilities in the layout marked as plot No.18/41 at present to an industry by the name of Magnum Paper Mill Pvt Ltd between 1995 to 1999 without changing the land use of common facilities,” Raghav alleged in his petition to the HC.

Thus land of 7 villages belonging to farmers was forcibly taken away by the state on behalf of the UPSIDCL despite farmers not agreeing to it and sold to the industrialist and later on many plots of Abadi land were also not returned to these farmers- that were required to be returned by law. The UPSIDCL also sold the land meant for community facilities to the industry. “However, now without changing the land use the industrial land is being converted to commercial space, malls, hotels and showrooms,” alleged Raghav.

Raghav said that he had also shot letters to UP CM Yogi Adityanath about pointing out to leasing out the community facility land to industries by the UPSIDCL. He said that he received a positive response from his government when the letters were forwarded to state vigilance department. After that he was asked to submit some documents by senior state officials that he did, however he is still awaiting further action on the matter.

He said that he hoped that he either gets back the Abadi land belonging to his ancestors or else it should be used for setting up community facilities in Sahibabad Industrial Area.

Prasoon Pant, delhincrnews.in

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