Commuters enjoy toll-free travel, courtesy farmers

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Published on Oct 04, 2020 12:12 AM IST
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ByAvtar Singh

SANGRUR Farmers protesting against the Centre’s farm laws on Saturday didn’t let the staff managing at least five toll plazas in Sangrur, Barnala and Patiala districts charge money from commuters. The farmers started the campaign on October 1 in Sangrur and Barnala districts.

The protesters forced open the toll plaza barricades at Badbar village on Bathinda-Chandigarh national highway and Mehal Kalan village on Barnala-Ludhiana road in Barnala district on October 1. Then they let the commuters cross the Kalajhar toll barrier on Chandigarh-Bathinda national highway and another one Ladda village on Sangrur-Ludhiana highway in Sangrur district for free. On Saturday, protesting farmers opened the Dhareri Jattan toll plaza in Patiala district.

At Badbar toll plaza, 85 is charged from car/jeep or van, 140 from minibus and 295 from bus/truck for a single crossing.

“Toll charges are an unnecessary burden on the public. Farmers opened toll plazas for all vehicles and it gave us a great relief. There should be no toll charges across the state,” said Subhash Kumar of Ferozepur, who was travelling to Mohali in his car.

Nachhatar Singh, a private institute bus driver, said, “I used to take detours through villages to save toll charges. Nowadays, I am taking the national highway as the journey is toll-free.”

Roop Singh, state committee member of BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan), said toll plazas are operated by big companies and farmer unions had been raising voice against them.

“People appreciated our step. To make roads is government’s responsibility and you can’t charge from the public,” Singh added.

General manager of Badbar toll plaza Rajnikant Sinha said, “We are facing a daily loss of 9 lakh. Our company is running two toll plazas on rent in Barnala and Sangrur districts. The government should compensate us.”

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Wednesday, December 08, 2021