Budgam landowners protest against NHAI, allege lowering of rates for land sold for construction of ring road

Budgam, Oct 12, (KNS): The landowners of Gudsathoo in central Kashmir's Budgam district on Tuesday held a protest against the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) over lowering of rates for their land sold to authorities for construction of ring road. 

Talking to Kashmir News Service (KNS), one of the protesters said that 60% of the landowners of other villages in Budgam have got their payment in 2017. "They were given Rs. 17 lakhs as per 29 lakh estimates. Now after three and a half years, rest of the landowners are being informed that they will be given Rs. 14 lakhs for their apple orchards."

He said that Budgam district has 45 horticulture land villages and among them their village has the most fertile land in respect to others, but the landowners of Gudsathoo are being discriminated. 

The protestors said that they are not against ring road construction but over unequal compensation for the land. "We don’t understand the background of this rule as only landowners of our village have been given 50% payment of the land, while rest 50% has been deducted. What is the reason behind this deduction," they asked. 

They said they have submitted an application to the financial commissioner and after the directions of financial commissioner they took up the matter with DC Budgam, but nothing has been done so far. 

They further said that their payment was halted in the year of 2017 due to non-availability of funds, and now after three years the administration has decided to cut down apple trees without their consent.

They also said that they should be paid as per the market value of the land, which is around 70- 80 lakhs. "We demand the authorities to grant us 1/4th the market price for our land."

The protesters urged the Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha to personally look into the matter and grant them justice. (KNS)

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