The State Committee of Himachal Kisan Sabha on Friday condemned the anti-peasant attitude of government here for acquiring their arable land and serving the interests of corporate sector and real estate developers.

Adressing a press conference here, State Kisan Sabha president Kuldip Tanwar said that the State government is changing the land use pattern and mindlessly diverting the farm land of small and marginal peasants to various hydro electric projects, private universities and cement plants.

He said in the hill State the government is the biggest landlord with more than two-third (66 percent) land area in its possession and just about 12 percent of land is left for agricultural use.

There are 9.31 lakh land holdings overall in the hill State and 86 percent of the farmers are small and marginal peasants, informed the Kisan Sabha. The petty farmers are fast heading towards an “agrarian distress” and are forced to sell their assets including land and livestock in order to survive. The distraught and marginal farmer here also could develop the suicidal tendencies like in other parts of the country, feared the Himachal Kisan Sabha.

Kisan Sabha leaders quoted a number of instances from all the districts of Himachal where the farmers are being displaced for various corporate projects and institutions. Giving a slogan of “land for land” for the dislocated small farmers, Mr. Tanwar demanded an immediate amendment in the antiquated land acquisition Act, of 1894 and enactment of legislation to ensure adequate compensation and rehabilitation of projects affected people.

The farmers association also demanded a regular employment for at least one member of the affected family in the projects and their total rehabilitation.