Traffic on all major roads from here remained disrupted as members of various farmers' unions squatted on roads against the tardy wheat procurement from grain markets. Farmers alleged not a single grain has been lifted so far and farmers are at the receiving end.
Protesters blocked traffic on the Harigarh canal bridge on the Chandigarh road, Kaleke village on the Bhikhi road, Dhaula village on the Mansa road, Cheema Jodhpur village on the Moga-Bajakhana road and Mehal Kalan on the Ludhiana road. Farmers shouted slogans against the state government and the district administration.
Farmers' leader Roop Singh Chhanna said, "We are camping in thegrain markets for the last twelve days. There are no gunny bags, there is no lifting. Our produce is exposed to the vagaries of weather and stray animals. Before harvesting, we weathered risks of nature, now we are suffering from the apathy of the government."
Another farmer leader Baljinder Singh said, "The tall claims of the state government that every grain will be procured in time are a lie. Appearance of clouds in the sky increase our worries. We suffer this trauma every season. In case of rainfall, who will own responsibility of the loss?"
Shingara Singh, a farmer leader said, "By giving a small number of gunny bags to markets, the administration wants us to give up our agitation. However, we will continue it for at least two more days till the administration starts the procurement seriously."
Farmers have threatened to block rail traffic on April 27 and 28. Justifying the blocking of the rail traffic, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Dakonda) senior vice-president Manjit Singh Dhaner said, "If the government fails to procure wheat even after this delay, we have little choice but to resort to agitation."
Deputy commissioner GS Sidhu said, "We had floated tenders for transportation and labour yesterday, which we opened today. There is no problem of gunny bags now. All problems stand sorted out."
However, farmers continue to block traffic showing little confidence in all sorts of assurances by the district administration regarding smooth procurement and lifting.