Landowners decry lack of compensation for road project

Landowners decry lack of compensation for road project

R&B ascertaining whether landowners received compensation in 1965; Homeowneras deny receiving any compensation

Budgam: Farmers and homeowners here allege that the government has not paid any kind of compensation to the affected parties whose houses had collapsed due to the Aripanthan-Khag road widening project.
The matter, villagers say, was brought to the notice of Divisional Commissioner Budgam. They now express deep concern over the apathetic approach of the authorities and worry for delay in the implementation of new land acquisition law. They threaten to take out rallies if they were not compensated for the losses they suffered over the past two years.
The Roads and Buildings department says they are ascertaining whether the farmers and home owners have previously been compensated in 1965 when the road project was initiated.
J&K’s Chief Minister laid the foundation of the 10 Kilometer Khag-Aripanthan road in a recent visit to Khag. The project urpgrades the road link from single to double lane at a cost of Rs 13.08 crore. The widening affects Hazerpora, Kandahama, Gamboora, Bonigund, Suresh, Nasarpora and Khag villages.
The farmers told Kashmir Reader that the government has neither paid any compensation for lands taken over for widening, nor rehabilitated the people whose houses were affected.
“The road widening project had caused a huge loss to the orchards, houses and the shops, but the government is indifferent towards our sufferings despite several appeals,” said Ali Mohammad Rather, a victim.
He regretted that the government had failed to fulfill its commitment of providing compensation and added that the notices are being issued to the house owners to dismantle the houses or face action.
Executive Engineer R&B Budgam Kachoo Mohammad Ali told Kashmir Reader that their department doesn’t have the actual records of the road yet. He said, “We are ascertaining the facts in the revenue records from the initial date of 1965 when the road was established.”
We have asked the revenue department to provide the data and then we will provide the compensation to the families accordingly. We first want to know how much land has been acquired and whether they have received the compensation earlier in 1965 when the project was started at the first,” he added.
The families, however, completely deny receiving any such compensation. Political secretary to former chief minister, Omer Abdullah, said that the total project cost has the component of compensation in it. “I don’t know why they are being denied. I will personally intervene in the matter.”

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