Punjab: Farmers urge Congress government to clear sugarcane dues, hike prices; block train movement, road traffic

By: |
Updated: August 21, 2021 9:54 PM

The railway officials said efforts were being made to ensure that the stranded trains moved to their destinations via diverted routes as much as possible.

Farmers sitting on the Jalandhar-Chaheru section have blocked the Ludhiana-Amritsar and the Ludhiana-Jammu rail tracks in Jalandhar, affecting several trains.

Farmers seeking a hike in sugarcane prices blocked rail tracks and a national highway in Punjab’s Jalandhar for the second consecutive day on Saturday, affecting trains and vehicular traffic.

Meanwhile, farmers said the state government has called a meeting with their leaders at Chandigarh on Sunday.

According to railway officials of the Ferozepur division, a total of 89 trains were cancelled because of the protest.

Rail passengers travelling for the festival of Raksha bore the brunt of the blockade.

Scores of farmers had on Friday launched an agitation for an indefinite period to press the Punjab government to accept their demands related to pending dues of sugarcane and hike in cane prices.

On Saturday, they refused to lift the blockade till their demands were met.

Emergency vehicles have, however, been allowed to ply, they added.

Protesters have blocked the Jalandhar-Phagwara stretch of the Delhi-Amritsar national highway near Dhanowali village of Jalandhar district.

The blockade affected vehicular movement to and from Jalandhar, Amritsar and Pathankot, though the administration diverted the traffic through some alternative routes.

Farmers sitting on the Jalandhar-Chaheru section have blocked the Ludhiana-Amritsar and the Ludhiana-Jammu rail tracks in Jalandhar, affecting several trains, including the Amritsar-New Delhi Swarna Shatabdi EXP SPL (02030), Amritsar-Dehradun EXP SPL (04664), New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi SPL (02013), and the New Delhi-Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Shri Shakti SPL (02461).

The railway officials said efforts were being made to ensure that the stranded trains moved to their destinations via diverted routes as much as possible.

Many rail passengers said they could not reach their destinations as their trains were cancelled.

“We got a message in the morning that our train scheduled to leave at 8 am has been cancelled. We booked tickets in another train but we are unsure whether it will run or not,” a man sitting with his wife and a child at the Amritsar railway station said.

He added that he was to go to Bhopal. “Tomorrow is Rakhi festival and we do not know how we will reach our destination,” he rued.

Bharti Kisan Union (Doaba) general secretary Satnam Singh Sahni said they are allowing families travelling for Raksha Bandhan to go through the service lane along the national highway.

Sahni said around 10 farmers leaders will participate in the meeting which will be attended by minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and other officials.

The meeting will take place at Punjab Bhawan at 12 noon on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal demanded from the Congress government to increase the State Assured Price (SAP) of sugarcane to a minimum of Rs 380 per quintal.

Protesting farmers are demanding that the Punjab government raise the SAP of sugarcane and clear payment of arrears to the tune of Rs 200-250 crore.

They have already rejected the hike of Rs 15 per quintal announced by the Punjab government a few days back.

The state government had revised sugarcane rates to Rs 325 for the early variety, Rs 315 for mid variety and Rs 310 per quintal for the late maturing variety.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1Shiv Sena likens governors in non-BJP states to ‘rogue elephants’, says they are trampling democracy
2‘Gareeb’ taking a jet ride? Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi declared assets worth over Rs 14 crore in 2017 poll affidavit
3Live-in relationships: Rajasthan High Court says public morality cannot overshadow Constitution, cites Ajmal Kasab’s example