Imphal, Sept 24-2020: The Agricultural Labours’ Association, Ningombam (ALAN) has submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister of India to ensure due compensation to farmers for the destruction of crops by the Airport Authority and Manipur Police during COVID-19 lockdown.
On the night of September 9,10 and 11, the standing crops of Ningombam village were destroyed by the Airport Authority of India and Manipur Police for the expansion of Bir Tikendrajit International Airport.
ALAN stated that many families were evicted from their ancestral land in 2009 for the expansion of the airport and were promised compensation by the then ruling Congress Government.
However, the compensation was never fulfilled and many families had to settle on the lands allotted by the Government without the provision of basic needs.
With the onset of COVID-19 and no means to sustain their livelihood, the farmers had approached their MLA to request the Airport Authorities to grant permission to cultivate the land which was acquired in 2009 and had been lying barren since then, said the association.
A total of 187.50 acres (300 sangam) were cleared for cultivation.
The farmers invested an amount of Rs 25,000 into each sangam with money borrowed from money lenders and were expecting a harvest of at least 2400 kgs per sangam, totalling to about 7,20,000 kgs.
With the money earned from the harvest, the farmers had planned to repay loans and fulfil other needs.
ALAN added that they had approached authorities concerned but were turned away.
The association urged the Prime Minister to intervene to assist them.