Haryana govt forms panel to hold talks with farm unions on reopening NH-44 stretch along Singhu Border

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Updated: September 16, 2021 2:35 PM

A senior official saying that discussions were held on the issue reopening NH-44 in wake of the ongoing case in Supreme Court.

A senior official saying that discussions were held on the issue reopening NH-44 in wake of the ongoing case in Supreme Court.

The Haryana government is set to constitute a high-level committee to hold talks with farm union leaders and discuss modalities of reopening the NH-44 stretch along the Kundli-Singhu border, which has remained closed for the past 10 months with the protesting farmers staying put, The Indian Express reported.

The decision to form the panel was taken in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday evening. The meeting was attended by Home Minister Anil Vij and several senior officials.

The Indian Express quoted a senior official saying that discussions were held on the issue reopening NH-44 in wake of the ongoing case in Supreme Court. The next date of hearing in the case is September 20.

“It was decided that a committee, on behalf of the state government, shall hold talks with the farmer union leaders. The committee shall be headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Rajeev Arora and state police chief DGP PK Agrawal, ADGP (Law and Order) Navdeep Singh Virk and Balkar Singh (Home Secretary-1) shall be members of this committee. To begin with, the committee will hold talks with the SKM leaders, persuade them to vacate the NH-44 stretch occupied by them and then decide on further course of action,” Haryana Chief Secretary Vijai Vardhan told The Indian Express.

Sonipat Deputy Commissioner Lalit Siwach had on Tuesday told farmer union leaders that they should either shift to one side of the highway or move to an alternate site, while citing the Supreme Court’s August 23 order on a plea filed by one Monicca Agarwaal regarding the blockades on NH-44. 

Siwach said the cooperation of the farmers is expected so as to comply with the directions of the Supreme Court.

Siwach said the construction work of the NH-44 under the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has also been blocked for a long time due to the farmers” protest, causing inconvenience to people.

In such a situation, if the farmers give way on one side of the road, then the construction of the National Highway will be completed soon, the statement said.

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