Rail roko: Blockade continues, agony increases for passengers

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Amritsar
  • Updated: Oct 09, 2015 21:09 IST
Farmers block train tracks during the third day of their protest against the central and Punjab government’s anti-farmer policies at Muchhal village near Tangra ,28 kms from Amritsar on Friday . (Sameer Sehgal/HT PhotoRail roko, blockade)

The passengers continued to feel the heat as the ‘rail roko’ initiated by the farmers entered the third consecutive day on Friday.

In a deadlock with the government, hundreds of farmers continued the blockade at Muchhal village on the Amritsar-Delhi rail route, putting the rail movement in complete disarray. Meanwhile, the talks between the local administration and the agitating farmers took place on Thursday as well, but it failed to yield any result.

The farmer leaders’ demands include better prices for basmati varieties and compensation for damaged crops due to weather, spurious pesticide and whitefly.

With the blockade entering third day, the rail traffic was out of gear as only one train, Jan Shatabdi, departed from Amritsar enroute Tarn Taran. None of the other trains plied on the Amritsar-Delhi route, as hundreds of farmers had blocked the rail track at Muchhal.

As the farmers have announced that the dharna would continue on Saturday as well, things do not seem to get better for passengers, who are on the receiving end and have no option than look for alternate travel plans. Many passengers opted for buses and some even hired cabs as the railway station, which normally sees a lot of activities, wore a deserted look.

Although, the local administration has made a couple of moves and DC Ravi Bhagat has met few farmer leaders, the initiatives have failed to yield results.

Even as more than 20 trains from Amritsar are affected daily, many passengers are still stuck in Pakistan, as Samjhauta Express that was to reach India on Thursday, was held up in Pakistan.

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