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Noida: Farmers Open Front Against NTPC Dadri, Agitation Continues

Thousands of farmers, who have been agitating for a long time demanding equal land compensation and employment, are on a sit-in protest in front of NTPC office in Noida Sector-24.
Thousands of farmers, who have been agitating for a long time demanding equal land compensation and employment, are on a sit-in protest in front of NTPC office in Noida Sector-24.

New Delhi: Farmers from 24 villages of Uttar Pradesh have opened a front against NTPC in Noida. The farmers had been agitating for a long time demanding equal land compensation and employment. On Monday, December 18, thousands of farmers sat on strike in front of the NTPC office located in Noida Sector-24.

 After the police stopped the protesters some distance before the main gate of NTPC, they staged a day and night strike there. These farmers of 24 villages say that they are affected by NTPC’s Dadri plant.

 This protest is being led by Bharatiya Kisan Parishad leader Sukhbir Khalifa. He said that "Farmers protested at NTPC Dadri for several months and also launched a long movement. During this, several rounds of talks were held with the administration in which the demands of the farmers were considered justified but till now those demands have not been met. That's why we have come this time to fight a decisive battle.”

 Some farmers said several women and elderly farmers were sitting on dharna in the severe cold, even at night, due to which many protesters have fallen ill. The Kisan Parishad claimed that at least 25 protesting farmers fell ill and were taken to hospital on December 19.

 In a video release, Sukhbir Khalifa said,"The protesting farmers fell ill due to extreme cold but when they were taken to the district hospital, there was no arrangement. Four patients were kept on each bed."

 Aditya Bhati, a young protester, told NewsClick, "NTPC cheated us. Our ancestors were not aware and they cheated them and took land at throwaway prices, whereas the law says equal compensation to all." But here everyone has been paid separate amounts. Apart from this, our youth were also promised jobs, but none have been given yet."

 Bhati said, "Our main demand is proper compensation, development and employment in NTPC. There are no colleges and hospitals in the affected area of NTPC Dadri. One has to go out of Dadri for treatment and studies. So, for the convenience of the people, colleges and hospitals should be opened in the area.”

 Meanwhile, NTPC, has issued a press release, saying that "to meet the need of electricity in the national interest including NCR, the construction of Stage-1 of National Capital Power Station (NCPS) in Dadri region has been going on since 1986. 1995. The land acquisition and compensation were done as per the Land Acquisition Act existing at that time and the instructions of the district administration.”

NTPC added that "after so many years, the protest is being held again with some demands. From time to time, during various talks with the protesters, NSPC has made it known that equal compensation and employment is now no longer possible to consider.” (loose translation)

 NSPC also claimed that 182 land-displaced candidates had been given regular employment on the basis of available vacancies, suitability and eligibility.

(Translated from Hindi)

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