Indian Railways today appealed to the Punjab government to prevent farmers’ unions, which yesterday rejected the compensation announced for cotton growers who have suffered crop losses and threatened to intensify their stir, from disrupting train services in the state.
Divisional Railway Manager (Ferozepur Division) Anuj Prakash said “these kind of agitations are now happening almost every week in the state. The disruption in train services not only hits the economy and business sector but also cause inconvenience to hapless passengers like women, children and elderly people.”
The DRM urged the government to take action against those thrying to “paralyse” rail movement.
Farmers’ unions in Punjab had yesterday rejected Rs 640 crore compensation announced by the government and said that they would intensify their stir by blocking trains’ movement on October 7 and 8.
Several farmers’ organisations including BKU Ekta (Dakunda), BKU Ekta (Ugrahan), BKU (Krantikari), Kirti Kisan Union are at loggerheads with the state government over their demands — Rs 40,000 per acre compensation for farmers who have suffered crop losses due to whitefly attacks, Rs 20,000 relief per family for farm labours, Rs 4,500 per quintal rate for basmati PUSA 1509 variety, among others.
Yesterday, a farmers’ delegation also met senior officials of the Punjab government but the talk remained inconclusive.
On September 2, rail traffic was severely affected on Delhi-Amritsar and Delhi-Jammu routes after sugarcane farmers squatted on railway tracks between Chaheru and Jalandhar, protesting against the Centre and the state government for non-payment of their dues.
The Firozepur division caters to the rail transport needs of Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and a part of Himachal Pradesh.