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‘We will Give Our Lives, Not Our Land’: Farmers in Gujarat Protest Against Govt

Farmer leader Jayesh Patel said they wanted compensation as per the market value of the land and not the 'Jantri' (official) rate fixed by the government.

Ahmedabad: Around 800 farmers, affected by the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet train project, held a protest march Wednesday at Navsari in Gujarat demanding better compensation for their land.

The Gujarat High Court is expected to pronounce its judgment on petitions filed by farmers challenging the land acquisition process for the high-speed rail project Thursday.

The march at Navsari, 280 km from here, was organized by the Gujarat Khedut Samaj which has been opposing the ambitious project, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017.

“We will give our lives, not our land” read banners at the rally, which saw a high number of women participants.

Farmer leader Jayesh Patel said they wanted compensation as per the market value of the land and not the ‘Jantri’ (official) rate fixed by the government.

“Land in southern districts of Gujarat is very fertile. Mangoes and other fruits grown in orchards of Navsari are exported across the country. Thousands of farmers and their families are dependent on the land,” Patel said.

The proposed compensation — an amount four times the Jantri rate — is too low, he said.

“As per the Jantri rates, the value of one bigha of land is around Rs 4 to 5 lakh. But the actual market value is around Rs 40 to 50 lakh. The compensation must be based on the market price,” he said.

A woman participant at the march echoed him. “What would our next generation do once our fertile land is gone? If at all the government wants to take it, we must be paid four times the market value as compensation,” she said.

Also Read: Kisan March: Palghar People Say They Want Land, Not Bullet Train

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