Patlolla Prabhakar, a farmer of Gunjoti village in Nyalakal mandal, finds himself in a peculiar situation. Two acres of his nine-acre farm land is set to be acquired by the government for setting up the National Investment and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ).

In a recent meeting with villagers whose lands would be acquired for the project coming up on 12,600 acres spread across Jarasangam and Nyalakal mandals, officials informed that the offer price per acre was ₹9 lakh. While some expressed willingness to part with their farm land, objections were many. For, the price is unacceptable to them.

“My land is near the main road. The government is offering only ₹9 lakh per acre for my two-acre patta land. The remaining seven acres can be sold for ₹80 lakh per acre. How can any farmer sell his land for so cheap,” questions Mr. Prabhakar.

This is the majority opinion of farmers in the villages that are losing their farm land to NIMZ. Many farmers are not in a position to buy alternative lands outside NIMZ as the rates have skyrocketed. The per acre cost ranges between ₹30 lakh and ₹1 crore, depending on the location.

Real estate ventures are also coming up near the villages of NIMZ with plots being earmarked for sale with laying of internal roads and creation of infrastructure facilities.

Given the fast-paced development, a host of industries is coming forward to set up their factories here, pushing up land rates. With this, the farmers are simply not ready to sell their land at the rate offered by the government as they treat it no less than gold.

Farmers point out that soon after the formation of Telangana in 2014, about 3,100 acres were acquired in a few villages of Jarasangam mandal with ₹3 lakh per acre paid for barren land, ₹4 lakh for cultivated but assigned land and ₹5.65 lakh for patta land.

“We were forced to sell our land for NIMZ as we were threatened that the government could take back the assigned land if required. We had to sign our consent at 11 p.m.,” said Jamla Naik, a farmer from Challapally tanda.

While the farm lands are acquired at the rates decided by the government with registration rate as basis, the plots being sold by real estate dealers are incredibly high-priced.

“Plots near the main road are being sold for anywhere between ₹18,000 and ₹22,000 per square yard at Gangwar which is on the highway to Bidar, and there are many takers too,” said another farmer.

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