Mohali, September 29
Traffic on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway had to be diverted at Lalru for six-and-a-half hours today after farmers blocked the road near Sarsini demanding appropriate compensation for the flood victims. Traffic moved at a snail’s pace as long queues of vehicles were seen on the both sides of the highway.
The farmers started the blockade around 11 am and called off the protest around 5:30 pm after an ADC-level officer assured them of taking up the matter with the higher-ups.
Although ambulances were allowed to pass through the blockade, long queues and haphazardly parked vehicles slowed down the movement of emergency service vehicles. Fire engines, too, were stationed at the protest site.
- Appropriate compensation for crop damage due to floods
- Construction of embankments
- Restoration of water and power supply
- Plugging the flow of polluted water from industrial units to fields
- Construction of causeway on Ghaggar
The protesting farmers squatted on the main road while blocking the way with tractor-trailers. They were pressing for appropriate compensation for the flood-affected farmers. The traffic moving from Chandigarh to Ambala was diverted through the ITI chowk at Handesra, while the vehicles coming from Ambala were diverted to the Baldev Nagar-Barwala road and at Ambala via the Shabhu barrier.
The blockade in Lalru had a ripple effect in all major townships along the national highway. Zirakpur had witnessed snarl-ups since 12 noon. As soon as the information about the blockade spread, road users, in a bid to avoid the jam, tried to take alternative routes, some driving on the wrong side. Some motorists took a U-turn while the others drove through the Panchkula-Barwala and the Zirakpur-Patiala roads.
“There was confusion whether the road is totally blocked or diversions were made, due to which the movement of vehicles remained erratic. Also, some roads witnessed congestion,” said Sagar Manocha of Dera Bassi.
Bharti Kisan Union (Sidhupur) president Jagjit Singh Dallewal said, “The government is not ready to listen to us despite aborting two blockade calls for August 5 and 26. The government has given compensation to the flood victims at the rate of Rs 6,800 per acre, which is a cruel joke on the victims.”
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