HAPP has a happy beginning

HAPP has a happy beginning

Stir by farmers end, allowing work on N-plant to begin

A highly volatile agitation by farmers that held ground for over 650 gruelling days against the upcoming nuclear power plant in the northern state of Haryana is now breathing its last.

Majority of the protesting farmers have given up the fight to mouth-watering compensation packages and a lot more that the government has offered to put to rest what seemed like a never ending ordeal in the Congress-ruled state. Out of the 1,500-odd acres of agriculture land that was acquired for the nuclear power project, “beneficiaries” of nearly 1,350 acres have already accepted compensation cheques. The remaining farmers, the government hopes, will follow suit shortly. On Thursday, ground survey work at the nuclear project site in Fatehabad district finally commenced, post a small ceremony.

The long agitation by effected farmers had witnessed violence, death, political overtones and high-decibel rhetoric from several quarters, including members of disbanded Team Anna, that promised little hope for the project. Until recently, cane-wielding women guarding fertile farmland and threatening havoc at any attempt to take away their land was a common site in Gorakhpur village in the district. Today, there appears to be calm and the compensation that farmers have got from the government is spilling dreams of a prosperous tomorrow. The 2800 MW Haryana Atomic Power Project (HAPP) is being set up by Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL). The first phase of this nuclear power project is expected to be commissioned by 2018, inform sources. 

The agitation started to lose steam once the government announced a lucrative compensation package. For effected farmers, it was an offer hard to ignore given that real estate prices in this area have been anything but lucrative. Officials say farmers have got about Rs 31 lakh per acre compensation and another Rs 4 lakh per acre as “no litigation allowance”. The farmers would also get Rs 21,000 per acre annually for 33 years with an annual increase of increase Rs 750 an acre.

The accumulative compensation would add up to over Rs 46 lakh per acre. The government would also provide farmers land for constructing a house if their house was acquired. Be it a new tubewell or a fruit tree on the acquired land, the government has accounted for a compensation. Officials say the authorities will not levy any stamp duty or registration fee if they purchase land with the compensation money.