Ahmedabad: Reducing the burden on farmers who gave their lands for Narmada project, Gujarat Government on Thursday brought smiles on their faces by increasing the amount of their compensation to Rs 1250 crores.

Political observers are interpreting the decision of Narendra Modi government as a political announcement with an eye on the upcoming assembly elections in 2012.

Government’s announcement will benefit the farmers of eight districts including Ahmedabad, Surendranagar, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Kutch, Banaskantha, Patan and Mehsana.

Gujarat government’s spokesman and Cabinet Minister Saurabh Patel and Minister of State for Finance Jai Narain Vyas said that the state government has framed a new policy to provide compensation to those farmers who gave their lands under Sardar Sarovar Narmada scheme. Farmers are now going to get compensations on the basis of revised rates, Vyas said.

It may be noted that 86 thousand farmers owning 21, 600 hectares of land will now get Rs 750 crore as compensation. The proposal will include all those farmers whose land has been acquired in the first phase.

According to Vyas, the new rates will be applicable to 41,000 farmers and the total compensation will reach to Rs 1,250 crore.
Gujarat government in its budget for 2011-12 allocated Rs 6835 crore for the Narmada project.

Till now, maximum land has been acquired from farmers of Saurashtra and North Gujarat where Modi wants to widen his base before the 2012 polls.