Chandigarh: The Railways on Tuesday cancelled 27 trains as the farmers’ agitation in several parts of Punjab over sugarcane prices entered its fifth day, impacting rail services and road traffic. Chief minister Amarinder Singh is scheduled to hold meeting farmer leaders over the sugarcane issue and clearance of dues.
The indefinite stir was launched by the farmers in Jaladhar on Friday, who are sitting on key highway stretches and train tracks. The last meeting on Monday to a final call on the new state assured price (SAP) for the sugarcane crop remained inconclusive.
On Tuesday, the officials in the Ferozepur division said that they had to cancel 68 train – including two Vande Bharat and Rajdhani each, four Shatabdi Express, one Duranto, and two Janshatabdi Express trains – and divert 10 trains and short originated 12 trains trains due to the ongoing agitation.
Here are 10 key points on the ongoing farmers’ stir in Punjab:
-At least 27 Express trains were cancelled on Tuesday, while 11 were short terminated or diverted. Amritsar-Delhi Shatabdi Express is among those trains which have been cancelled, the railway officials said.
-On Monday, 63 trains were affected due to the protest. Twenty seven of these were cancelled, while 11 were diverted and 25 were short-terminated.
-Railway officials in the Ferozepur division said a refund of ₹53.65 lakh has been given to 12,300 passengers for the cancellation of trains so far.
-Meanwhile, a group of officials and experts, including Punjab’s Commissioner (Agriculture) Balwinder Singh Sidhu and two economists of Punjab Agricultural University, on Monday held a meeting with farmer leaders at Jalandhar and heard them over the cost of sugarcane production.
-Sidhu said detailed deliberations took place with farmers at the district administrative complex, where their all genuine concerns were heard patiently.
-This came a day after the meeting between farmers’ representatives and state ministers remained inconclusive.
-The farmers are demanding a hike in SAP of sugarcane. They have already rejected a hike of ₹15 per quintal announced by the Punjab government a few days back.
-The state government had revised sugarcane rates to ₹325 for the early variety, ₹315 for mid variety and ₹310 per quintal for the late maturing variety. The farmers, however, have pointed out that neighbouring Haryana was giving ₹358 per quintal to its cane growers.
-The protesters also want the state government to clear payment of arrears to the tune of ₹200-250 crore.
-The protest though has affected road and train traffic, emergency vehicles have been allowed to ply.