Goods trains will stay off track in Punjab till farmers lift blockades
With farmer organisations in Punjab extending their protest against the Centre’s farm laws, the Railways on Friday said freight movement in the state will remain suspended indefinitely.
Ferozepur additional divisional railway manager (ADRM) Sukhwinder Singh said no goods trains will operate to and from the state till all tracks and railway stations are cleared of protesters.
He said as farmer unions are sticking to their decision of holding protests on and near tracks at various spots, it was decided not to resume services.
“After a thorough assessment of the ground situation, it was felt that the situation is not fit to restart freight services to and from Punjab. The railways will resume services once the situation eases on the ground,” he said.
FARMERS TARGET SUPPLY TO PRIVATE POWER PLANTS
Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan) members started an indefinite dharna to disrupt coal supply to private thermal plants by blocking the tracks last Friday.
The BKU activists started squatting on the rail route to the Vedanta Group-owned Talwandi Sabo power project at Banawala village in Mansa district.
Last Saturday onward, they began blocking the rail line to the Rajpura thermal power plant, a subsidiary of the Larsen and Toubro (L&T) Group, for an indefinite period.
Train services to a mega foodgrain silo operated by the Adani Group in Moga district were disrupted by BKU activists on Friday.
TRADE UNION STEERS CLEAR OF BLOCKADES
The Left-leaning trade union disassociated itself from other farmer organisations’ rail roko and ended blockades by its activists on October 13.
Activists of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC), the organisation that spearheaded the rail blockade since September 24, shifted the dharna from Devidas Pura to Jandiala Guru station on Monday. Its members refused to lift the blockade.
A three-member committee of state ministers met BKU leaders on Thursday but they did not agree to allow train services to private thermal plants.