Covering 430 km to reach Singhu a challenge

Travelling to protest site in tractor-trailer for 18 hours not a cakewalk, say farmers

Covering 430 km to reach Singhu a challenge

Residents and students took out a march, ahead of the farmers’ tractor rally on the Republic Day, near Amritsar on Monday. Tribune photos

Manmeet Singh Gill

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 25

The 18-hour-long journey from the city to the Singhu border protest site on tractor-trailer is not a cakewalk as most people think. This was revealed by some farmers who took the tedious and back-breaking journey recently.

As large numbers of farmers have left for Delhi to take part in the tractor parade on Tuesday, a section of the protesters revealed that covering the 430-km-long journey till Singhu was a challenge.

Owing to a heavy rush on the route these days due to mass movement of vehicles (especially tractor-trolleys), the farmers have to spend around extra four to five hours in traffic jams. They revealed that heavy traffic jams near the Sonipat bridge and near Eastern Peripheral Express (EPE) were a daily occurrence these days.

Yadwinder Singh Bhullar, former secretary of the Ajnala Bar Association who reached Singhu on Tuesday morning, said, “It took us 12 hours to reach Singhu. We had to park our car 10 km away from the stage as the roads were chock-o-block.

Another farmer Balbir Singh Numberdar from Borsi Rajputtan village said, “You cannot have a wink of sleep through the journey. My body pained for two days after reaching Singhu. Those who feel that farmers are having a gala time at the protest sites cannot imagine how painful and arduous the journey is.” Balbair Singh has been at the protest site since November 25 and has not visited his home even once.

At an average speed of 25 km per hour, the tractor drivers have to drive very cautiously and maintain a distance between the vehicles going ahead and following them. “The braking system of a tractor is not like the one installed in a car. Moreover, with trolleys attached to tractors, it becomes very difficult to stop the vehicle all of a sudden in case of an emergency,” said Bobandeep Singh, a young farmer.

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