Chandigarh: Passengers faced a harrowing time in Punjab as 27 trains were cancelled today due to the ongoing agitation by farmers, which entered third day today.
Over 15,000 farmers blocked the rail traffic seeking higher compensation for crops damaged in white fly attack and also Rs 5 lakh financial assistance to the family of farmers who committed suicide.
Yesterday, unions spearheading the movement had extended the stir for another two days till October 10.
According to officials, as many as 27 trains including mail, express and passenger were today cancelled while 24 rpt 24 trains were diverted, short terminated and short originated by railway authorities in Ferozepur division.
In Ambala division of Railways, 107 trains have so far been cancelled since October 7, officials said.
The agitating farmers squatted on railway tracks at different places in Punjab, forcing railways to cancel or divert several trains.As many as eight farmers’ outfits, which are spearheading the agitation, are up in arms against SAD-BJP-led state government for their “anti-farmer” policies.
Punjab’s trade and commerce was hit as hosiery and iron and steel manufacturers complained that their commodities were stuck at railway stations.
“We are continuing with our protest against the lackadaisical attitude of the Punjab government towards farmers’ plight,” BKU Ekta (Dakunda) General Secretary, Jagmohan Singh said today.
“Though our coordination committee of eight farmers’ organisation will take a call on next course of action tomorrow, the Rail Roko agitation may further be extended beyond October 10 if no concrete offer comes from state government,” BKU (Ugrahan) General Secretary, Sukhdev Singh Kokri warned.
He blamed the SAD-BJP government for its “apathetic” attitude towards farmers’ genuine grievances.Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal yesterday said that the state government was ready to accept every genuine demands.
To a query on passengers’ woes, Kokri said, “We have given enough time to SAD-BJP-led state government to resolve farmers’ issues. But they did not take it seriously, forcing us to take this step,” he said.
“From the day one, they are not interested in talking to farmers. The state government had even arranged a meeting with its senior officers whom we have already submitted our charter of demands, on which no action has been taken so far,” said Jagmohan Singh.
On SAD core committee deciding to take up farmers’ issue with Narendra Modi led Centre, Kokri said, “We have no objection to it. But our issues should be resolved at the earliest.