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Sunder Nagar, Himachal Pradesh



Farmers to lose 300 bighas for bypass
Move to ease traffic congestion at Sundernagar
Kuldeep Chauhan
Tribune News Service
Mandi, June 12
Farmers in the Sundernagar-Dhanotu stretch will lose about 300 bighas of their agricultural land for the 5.8-km-long Sundernagar bypass to ease the traffic congestion in the town on this stretch of the National Highway No. 21.
The Ministry of Surface Transport is executing the project on a priority basis as the NHAI has decided to convert the present Ropar-Mandi-Manali double-lane highway into a four-lane highway. This is being done to ease the traffic congestion on the highway and in Sundernagar, making a smooth flow of traffic to the Manali-Leh highway, sources said.
Though the local administration is about to issue a notification for acquiring 300 bighas, but farmers are opposing the move.
“Farmers will be ruined if they lose their land. The word is yet to spread about the move as farmers do not get good rates for their land, which has become scarce every day”, rued Devinder Thakur, a local farmer.
Sources told The Tribune that the bypass project, from Pung village to Dhanotu, would cost Rs 98.89 crore. The road would divert the main highway traffic as a big relief to the residents of the town.
Chief Engineer SK Marwah last month inspected the bypass and other projects and gave his final nod to the project.
Executive Engineer, National Highway, NK Kapila, said the DPR had been sent to the SDM, Sundernagar, for issuing of the notification for the land acquisition. The rates for the land are decided by the local administration and compensation was paid to land owners as per norms, he added.
SDM Vivek Chandel said the revenue papers had been sent to the ministry and the notification was yet to be issued. The land compensation cost was yet to be decided.
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The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Himachal Pradesh Edition
 

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Himachalis paying a heavy price for construction of national highways in state
Warning that the displaced were running out of patience, Brig Thakur said inadequate and delayed compensation is leading to a slew of court cases, which will further affect work.

INDIA Updated: Jul 06, 2018 11:18 IST
Manraj Grewal Sharma

Manraj Grewal Sharma
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh

national highways,kargil war,Himachal pradesh


The slow pace of work on many highways is compounding the misery of those displaced.(HT File)

Brig Khushal Thakur (retd) was commanding 18 Grenadiers when his battalion was tasked with capturing Tololing Top during the Kargil War in 1999. Today he is fighting another battle and he doesn’t seem anywhere near winning it. President of the Four-Lane Sangharsh Samiti, the veteran is battling for the rehabilitation of thousands of people whose land is being acquired to build 69 new national highways in Himachal Pradesh.
“The land acquisition process is violating the new land act 2013, which provides for a humane takeover of the land, and resettlement of the affected people,” says Thakur.

Mindless destruction
Bhagat Ram Verma, 53, a resident of Aut in Mandi district, is struggling to come to terms with the loss of both his business and house at the altar of a tunnel and bypass. Verma, who used to run a hardware shop at the main bazaar in Aut, says he and others still can’t fathom why the authorities chose to destroy the bustling, old market at the junction of four valleys instead of building a bypass on the left bank of the river Beas. “We’ve been here for ages. Being at a junction, this market used to remain busy even at midnight. Passengers from as far as Delhi used to alight here, but now 80% of it has been destroyed,” says Verma.
The prosperous trader, who had built a house near his shop, had to spend many traumatic days in a tent with his family when the bulldozers were pressed into service. “I was paid 1.94 lakh for my shop for which banks were ready to give me a loan of 50 lakh,” fumes Verma, claiming that while the land acquisition officer fixed a sum of 2 lakh per biswa (doubled to 4 lakh as per Factor 1 of the new Act), the market rate is as high as 10 lakh.

Mangat Ram, 67, a retired teacher at Nagwain village in Mandi, was hit hard when the 3 biswa land he owned was acquired for the highway. “I have been living here since 1986; six years ago I built a 12-room double-storey house. Last week, I was given a compensation of 71,000 for the house. Now they are putting pressure on me to vacate the land.” Ram is upset because of the different rates of compensation. “There are some who have received crores, it all depends on your connections,” he claims.
Accusing the Himachal government of violating the 2013 Act, Brig Thakur says, “Himachal has fixed the multiplying factor for rural land at 1 even though seven states, including Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, have fixed it at 2, and 17 others have fixed it at above 1. The district collectors don’t care to find out the market value of the land, and there is zero effort at resettlement.”
Interestingly, the BJP manifesto had promised to grant Factor 2 to the displaced people as per which he/she receives four times the market value of the land. Factor 1 gives only twice the market rate.

Land acquired but work at standstill
The slow pace of work on many highways is compounding the misery of those displaced. Joginder Walia, 59, who runs an NGO at Bhour village near Sundernagar, pointed out that even though 350 households were displaced, work on five tunnels near the Kainchi Mor under the PPP mode has been lying suspended since 2014.
“The administration announced the award for the 350 displaced persons in January this year, but they are yet to receive a paisa,” laments Walia, underlining the administrative apathy. He rues that work on the Kiratpur-Nerchowk is at a standstill. “The culverts have been closed due to the project, where will the rainwater go? The colonial rule was better.”
Warning that the displaced were running out of patience, Brig Thakur said inadequate and delayed compensation is leading to a slew of court cases, which will further affect work.
PWD engineer-in-chief R P Verma said this demand is under consideration by the state government but they are yet to take a decision.
First Published: Jul 06, 2018 11:18 IST




Himachalis paying a heavy price for construction of national highways in state
 
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Village life style In Himachal l food culture l festivals l Dance Nati l Marriage l Fashion l Dham
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Published on Jul 2, 2018


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Himachalis are usually simple people and most of them thrive on agriculture as a basic source of income. Himachal pradesh is a land of great diversity. In village fairs , Birthdays people form circle and sing folk songs of himachal. The spontaneous dancing is also a symbol of the jolly nature. Honest , Truthful,Gentle and good humored are some of the traits in Himachali people.
 
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