Punjab: Farmers’ dharnas hit rail revenues, toll plazas’ losses mount

Written by Raakhi Jagga
, Anju Agnihotri Chaba
| Jalandhar, Ludhiana |

October 8, 2020 9:48:14 pm

Amritsar Farmers Protests, Punjab Farmers Protests, Devidaspura Railway Track, Rail RokoFarmers have blocked rail tracks at 33 completely different locations in Punjab attributable to which passenger in addition to items trains can’t enter Punjab. (PTI Photo)

AS INDEFINITE protests by farmers towards farm legal guidelines proceed, income losses at toll plazas, railway junctions, and gasoline stations within the Punjab are mounting. The protests have already triggered the Railways a income loss Rs 200 crore, knowledge from the Ferozepur Division of the Indian Railways revealed. Further until October 7, a refund of Rs 55 lakh has been made to passengers. The NHAI, meantime, has suffered a lack of Rs 7.5 core roughly until October Eight in Punjab attributable to farmers blocking varied toll plazas within the state. Toll plazas which have been blocked in Haryana have made NHAI endure a lack of one other Rs 3.5 crore, taking the freeway authority’s complete loss since October 1 to Rs 11 core in each states.

Dharna on tracks hits rail revenues

Farmers have blocked rail tracks at 33 completely different locations in Punjab attributable to which passenger in addition to items trains can’t enter Punjab.

According the data from the Northern Railways, day by day almost 28 freight trains and 14 passengers trains had been working from Punjab earlier than the rail roko began on September 24.

Ferozepur Division, which oversees complete Punjab, was amassing round Rs 14 crore income day by day from the state, which has been transporting enormous quantity of the meals grains from right here to different states. So, in previous 15 days round Rs 210 crore loss has been incurred when it comes to freight earnings.
In September, 650 freight trains had been despatched from Punjab until September 23 resulting in Rs 327 crores being earned as income by the Railways, which was 114 per cent larger as in comparison with September 2019.

Also, in September month Ferozepur Division arrange a document by loading 1,650 wagons and 1,568 wagons on a single day on September 23 and September 9, respectively.

“While we had earned a income of Rs 352 crores through transport of products through items trains in September, however now trains have been cancelled fully,” mentioned Rajesh Aggarwal, Divisional Railways Manager, Ferozepur. He added: “There is not any harm to railway property anyplace on the protesting websites. Revenues are solely deferred as nobody might transport items on vans both. It is, nonetheless, inflicting inconvenience to the individuals of Punjab…. We needed to give a refund value Rs 55 lakhs to passengers.”

It is learnt that Business Development Unit of the Ferozepur division is in common contact with its shoppers, who’ve been hiring the freight trains to move the products, for future bookings following the rail roko is over.
Farmers, in the meantime, have additionally been urged to permit items trains not less than in order that coal provides can come for working thermals as they’d inventory starting from 1 to six days left as on Wednesday. Moreover, meals grains and potatoes additionally have to be despatched through trains to different states in order to clear godowns for paddy, revealed sources. Urea additionally must be introduced through items trains for wheat sowing.

On Tuesday, farmers had acknowledged that they may assume over Punjab CM’s demand of stress-free dharnas on tracks in order to permit items trains in Punjab, however on Wednesday, they acknowledged that dharnas on prepare tracks will proceed as it’s.

“During lockdown, items trains weren’t shifting for weeks collectively, however issues moved as regular. However, now after Eight days of our rail roko, figures are being generated of losses. This reveals double requirements of presidency,” mentioned Jagmohan Singh Patiala, normal secretary of BKU (Dakaunda).

Meanwhile, passengers who’re nonetheless travelling by these trains are dealing with a number of hassle.

“It is troublesome for long-route passengers like those from Mumbai, Bihar to finish their journey exterior Punjab, or to catch these trains by hiring street transport to Ambala, Delhi and Saharanpur,” mentioned a senior Railway official, including that farmers too are helpless when the federal government will not be itemizing to their real calls for.

So far, 325 passenger trains have been cancelled in Punjab since September 24.

NHAI suffers too

So far, the NHAI has suffered a lack of Rs 11 crore attributable to dharnas at 37 toll plazas in Punjab and Haryana. Out of those 18 are in Punjab and the remaining in Haryana.

Protest began on the 37th toll plaza in Ludhiana’s Ladhowal on Wednesday. Ladhowal toll plaza generates the utmost income in Punjab which is round Rs 75 lakh per day, revealed NHAI authorities.

In Haryana until October 8, income lack of almost Rs 3.5 crore has occurred attributable to dharnas at varied toll plazas positioned at Sonipat, Rohtak, Hisar and Ambala, and one close to Chandigarh that was giving income of almost Rs 1.5 lakh a day.

There is not any signal of the protests being lifted earlier than October 15, which is the deadline that farmer unions have set for Punjab CM calling a particular session on the farm legal guidelines challenge.

Interestingly, whereas public is allowed to maneuver at toll factors with out paying any tax, at occasions, many commuters cease to provide voluntary donations to protesting farmers.

Protests exterior gasoline pumps

Apart from this, farmers have staged dharnas inside the premises of over 30 non-public gasoline pumps in Malwa, Punjab attributable to which these petrol pumps should not capable of promote gasoline and therefore are struggling income losses. Out of those, majority of pumps are of Reliance and the remainder of ESSAR. When The Indian Express contacted Dinesh Miglani, regional head of gasoline stations of Reliance, he refused to touch upon the problem and didn’t expose any element about income loss to the corporate attributable to dharnas occurring at many petrol pump premises in Punjab.

In addition to this, 4 purchasing malls cum multipurpose shops of company homes are additionally mendacity closed since October 1.

They are positioned in Bhucho Mandi in Bathinda, Bathinda metropolis, Khanna and Amritsar. Details about their income loss had been additionally not revealed.

Jagseer Singh, farmer union chief from BKU (Ugrahan), mentioned, “We are conscious that many workers engaged on toll plazas, petrol pumps, purchasing malls are getting employment from these organisations, however we informed the workers that in case they want any ration, our unions shall be serving to them out. They ought to perceive that our battle is for every person as farming goes to have an effect on everybody in the end. Just a few workers working at toll plazas at completely different areas of Punjab even contributed voluntary donations to us even though they get salaries of lower than Rs 10,000 a month. We weren’t taking any donation from them, however they insisted strongly and therefore we saved that token with us.”

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