Chandigarh tricity relieved as farmers clear road in Mohali

Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 18

Residents of the tricity heaved a sigh of relief after farmers ended their protest at the YPS chowk with the government acceding to most of their demands.

After 36 representatives of various unions met Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann at the Punjab Bhawan, Sector 3, Cabinet Minister Kuldeep Dhaliwal reached the spot around 4 pm and announced that the government had accepted the farmers’ demands.

Road users of Mohali and Chandigarh, especially those commuting on the Sector 51-52 light point-Mataur barrier stretch, were inconvenienced as the police had put up barricades since Monday night, thereby affecting the normal flow of traffic. The situation was acute near the YPS chowk where the farmers had put up a blockade and also on the roads leading to Phase 7 to which the police had diverted the traffic. The road users had to take long detours and some had to shell out more money to reach their destinations by auto-rickshaws and taxis.

Protesters relax under a tractor-trailer at the YPS chowk.Tribune photo: Vicky

“It is good for everyone that the protest has been ended soon. In just two days, people were inconvenienced and schoolchildren, too, were harassed,” said Baljinder Baidwan, a businessman of Phase 3-B2.

Anticipating a long-drawn-out agitation, the authorities concerned installed CCTV cameras at the site in the afternoon to secure the area.

Heavy police force from Mohali as well as Chandigarh put up barricades at their respective sides to stop the protesters from moving ahead. However, the protest was largely peaceful with protesters resting in the shade of trees and at their makeshift arrangements.

“It is good that the issue was resolved peacefully and well in time, otherwise local residents and farmers will have to bear the inconvenience for a long time,” said Fatehdeep Singh, a resident of Phase 7.

Meanwhile, local residents arranged the stalls of snacks, cold drinks, butter milk and “jaljeera” for the protesters.

Around 6 pm, farmers started leaving for their villages feeling victorious.

Teachers join protest

In the afternoon, temporary teachers, who have been protesting for more than six months, joined in the protest at the YPS chowk in large numbers. The teachers alleged that before the Assembly elections, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann would join their dharna uninvited and promised to regularise their services in the first Cabinet meeting, but nothing had been done till now.

Traffic situation normal: Police

The Chandigarh Police have issued an advisory stating, “The public is being informed that the situation is normal on the Sec 51/52 light point-Mataur barrier (Himalaya Marg) stretch. The road is open and the traffic flow is normal.”

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