PATNA: The state unit of Congress will hold a Raj Bhavan march on May 19 to demand higher compensation for farmers in Kaimur and Gaya districts against acquisition of their land for laying Jagdishpur-Haldia-Bokaro-Dhamra natural gas pipeline.
The march – from Shaheed Smarak in front of Bihar Vidhan Sabha to Raj Bhavan – will be led by Congress’s Bihar incharge Shaktisinh Gohil and participated by senior party functionaries and the aggrieved farmers.
“Farmers from Barachatti block in Gaya district and some others from Kaimur district recently informed us that they have been paid compensation as per rates envisaged by the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1962. The Act was amended in 2013, ensuring higher rate of the agricultural land. Accordingly, the farmers are demanding higher compensation and we have decided to take up their cause,” officiating president of Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee Kaukab Quadri said.
The Jagdishpur- Haldia pipeline, expected to be 2050km long, is being laid by the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL). The project is expected to benefit several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh. Patna is also expected to get piped natural gas for domestic needs and compressed natural gas (CNG) for automobiles from October this year.
Apart from demanding higher compensation for farmers, Congress is also planning to launch a statewide agitation on several issues related to the tillers, including higher support price for crop yields.
“Bihar is an agrarian economy and around 70% of the population in the state is directly or indirectly associated with agriculture and allied sectors. Though Nitish Kumar government makes tall claims about agriculture road map and whole lot of other things, the farmers are in miserable condition. They are not getting the required support prices, compensation for crop damages due to floods and drought and waiver on agriculture loan. We will launch a massive agitation across the state ahead of the upcoming elections,” Quadri said.