Ushkara residents in J&K’s Baramulla fume over denial of fair land compensation

Srinagar,  Dozens of residents in north Kashmir’s Baramulla are fuming over the compensation being awarded for the acquisition of their land for the proposed bypass road.

The residents of Ushkara in Baramulla town, whose land is being acquired for the bypass road – under the prestigious four laning of Baramulla Srinagar highway- said the compensation being paid by the government was not as per the town criteria.

“ Ushkara is within the municipal limits and even our houses that we built here need permission from the municipal committee. But now when our land is being acquired, we have been considered to be outside municipal limits thereby making us suffer,” said a resident Mohammad Ashraf.

He said the land acquired for the bypass passes through the fully grown apple orchards and many residents earn their livelihood from them.

“Now that land is being acquired for the road, we need justice as for as the compensation is concerned,” he said.

The residents had already represented the concerned authorities including Divisional Commissioner Kashmir to review the compensation amount however it has been to no avail.

“We are now contemplating to approach the courts with our plea as the authorities have not addressed our grievances”, another resident said whose orchard land too is being acquired for the proposed by-pass.

He said that orchardists in other localities of the town including Khanpora, Rangwar and Kanthbagh are being compensated fairly well while the people in Ushkara are being offered the lowest rates as compensation for land acquisition, which is sheer injustice.

The residents have appealed to the UT administration to award them compensation in line with other localities.

A senior official of the Baramulla district said that compensation is awarded as per the stamp rates prevailing in the area.

“However, if anyone is aggrieved, there is a proper procedure which they should follow,” the officer said, adding that all procedures for the land acquisition are being followed.

The proposed bypass road would start from Khanpora on the left side of the highway while coming from Srinagar and would emerge on the outskirts of Kanispora locality traversing a distance of around 13 kilometres.

The most of the land acquired for this project- which is the third phase of the Srinagar-Baramulla National Highway widening and up gradation project- consists of prime Horticulture land of Baramulla, famous for its red delicious apple varieties.

The proposed by-pass road would be connected with the strategic Baramulla-Uri Stretch of the Highway which runs upto Kaman post-the last post on the Line of Control. The work is also underway for the double-laning of Baramulla Uri highway.