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The Yamuna Expressway, earlier known as the Taj Expressway aims to reduce travel time between Delhi and Agra. Construction is currently underway and is scheduled for completion in 2011

Map of Yamuna Expressway. Image source: http://www.yamunaexpresswayauthority.com

This project also intends to provide connectivity between Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, and Meerut with Agra, Aligarh, and Mathura. Government hopes that increased connectivity and reduced travel time would open up opportunities and further the economic development of the state. Visit Yamuna Expressway for more details.

The six- to eight-laned Yamuna Expressway, earlier called Taj Expressway, has a total stretch of 165.5 km and covers nearly 334 villages of Gautam Budh Nagar, Bulandshahar, Aligarh, Mahamaya Nagar (Hathras), Mathura and Agra districts in Uttar Pradesh.

Yamuna Expressway figures. Image source: http://www.gurgaonscoop.com

In its undying quest for ‘development’, the Uttar Pradesh government is keen on converting farms to concrete buildings. In a recent Business Standard article, Sreelatha Menon writes how the farmers in Uttar Pradesh are adversely affected by the state’s action to purchase their farms.

The farmers refused to give their fields to the government. And later, they asked for a higher price. The government sent police to seize their land. They first stopped the farmers from entering their fields. The next day, they started levelling the fields, cutting standing crops of cane and wheat. Chaudhury Bhura’s 26 bighas bear no sign of the cane that stood there till a week ago. They came and flattened the land, removing all standing crops under police supervision, said Bhura.

According to the article, the farmers had not entered into any deal with the government or any third party to sell their land. Nor are they upset about the expressway taking their land. Farmers are uneasy about why they should give up their fields for ‘townships’?

It hurts them that the government is giving a low price. But what angers them is that they will be landless soon. Whatever money they get will not buy them these fields again, the old men say.

Across India, agricultural and farm lands are being converted into ‘townships’ in the  name of ‘development’. We may not have any more agricultural land as we ‘lay the foundation’ of a food crisis ‘brick by brick.’

In related news, India commits $4.2 billion to buy farm land in Ethiopia.