Manmeet Singh Gill
Amritsar, November 28
For the last seven years, farmers of Dhanoae village on the International Border have not received compensation for years 2014 and 2015 for tilling land across the border.
Residents said it was due to a mistake of a local patwari that they didn’t get the compensation. While residents questioned the intentions of the said patwari, Baldev Singh, who has since died, they also demanded the release of the compensation by the government. The farmers alleged that the patwari did not send a demand for compensation for year 2014 and thus the government did not release the funds.
Farmers tilling land across the border fence are given Rs 10,000 per acre per year as a compensation for the hassle they go through to cultivate crop this tract of land. The allowance to the farmers is paid as a compensation for restricted working hours enforced by the BSF, crop loss caused by wild boars and harassment faced by the farmers.
The agitated farmers had also refused to receive the compensation for 2015 even as the money is lying with the government. The farmers fear that if they accept the compensation for 2015, the officials would not make efforts to provide them with the same for the previous year.
Farmers from Dhanoae village accumulatively till 173 acres and 11 marlas of land across the border. They are liable for a compensation of Rs 17,30,687 for 2014. With the dues of 2015 also lying pending, they are entitled to a total of Rs 34,61,375.
Border Area Sangharsh Committee leader Rattan Singh Randhawa said: “Farmers are paying for a mistake of a government employee.” He said senior district officials should take a note of the problem being faced by the farmers and expedite the process of release of compensation.