Land relief not paid, farmers stop Baddi-Chandigarh rail line work


Solan, December 19

Farmers today obstructed the construction work of the Baddi-Chandigarh rail line near Sheetalpur village, alleging they were yet to receive the compensation for the land acquired by the Railways.

They raised slogans against the administration as well as the railway officials. They said their arable land was dug up without granting them any compensation. They have also suffered crop loss.

Locals protested the delay in the grant of land compensation. Jaideep Singla, a private contractor executing the work, rued 50 to 60 of his labourers and machinery were left idle as no work could be done today due to the protest. He said he was suffering losses, owing to the obstruction in work that was likely to continue tomorrow.

“Three to four farmers are yet to receive compensation. Revenue staff, comprising patwari and naib tehsildar, also visited the spot to resolve the dispute but failed to pacify the farmers,” he added.

Railway officials, who rushed to the spot, said the higher-ups had informed the state’s revenue officials and urged them to restart the work at the earliest.

A land acquisition official said 30 hectare of land was acquired by the Railways, for which compensation had been paid. “The award for the remaining 36 hectare of land was likely to be announced as soon as the funds were received.” He agreed that there had been a slight delay in announcing the award.

In 2019, the Ministry of Railways had notified the link as a special project to speed up land acquisition. Of the 27.95-km-long railway line, 3.05-km stretch will fall in Himachal and the rest of 24.9 km in Haryana. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 1,672.70 crore, with 50% share being borne each by the state and the Centre.