Free Press Journal

Bhopal: NTPC goes back on its promise, farmers resent


Narsingpur: Even as farmers’ agitation is raging all over the state, resentment is brewing among the farmers of Dongargarh and six other villages in the district. Fertile land of hundreds of farmers was acquired for the plant but in violation of the agreement made with them, the management has not provided jobs to one member each of the families and neither have they are being paid the annual bonus due to them.

Around 1800 acres of land of 700 farmers of Dongargaon, Chor Barehta, Ghat Piparia, Kudari, Umaria etc villages was acquired for the plant. The land acquired was highly fertile on which the farmers used to grow two to three crops. At the time of acquisition, the farmers were promised that they would be paid compensation at the rate of Rs 18 lakh per acre, a bonus of Rs 30,000 per acre per year for 30 years and one member each of the 700 families would be provided job in the plant. Believing in the plant management, the farmers gave up their land. The NTPC acquired the land after paying the compensation but reneged on its promise of paying bonus. And neither were their family members provided jobs. This has led to the farmers facing an economic crisis.

Thirty acres of land Dalchand Kaurav and his five brothers was acquired by the NTPC. They were paid only the cost of the land. None of the brothers has been given a job nor was bonus paid to them. They complained both to the plant management and the administration but to no avail.

Land price was hiked from Rs 15L to Rs 18L per acre

At the time of acquisition, the price of the land to be acquired was fixed at Rs 15 lakh per acre. However, following an agitation by the farmers and intervention of the then union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, it was raised to Rs 18 lakh. Now, the NTPC is claiming that the raised rates have covered the job and bonus promise. The farmers, obviously, are feeling cheated. But they can do little except repenting their decision.