Farmers block NH-1 for two hours over erratic power supply, commuters suffer

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 11

On the call of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal), hundreds of farmers from across the area gathered near Rama Mandi and blocked National Highway-1 for nearly two hours over the issue of erratic power supply.

The farmers blocked the highway at 11 am by parking their tractor-trailers in the middle of the road and continued to protest till 1 pm. The farmers led by BKU (Rajewal) spokesperson Kashmir Singh said villages were getting only one to two hours of power supply. Holding both the state and the Centre governments responsible for power failure, they raised slogans against PM Narendra Modi as well as Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi.

Harassed commuters walk on foot to reach their respective destinations. Sarabjit Singh

“Portraying themselves to be common men, Channi and Transport Minister Amarinder S Raja Warring cannot win over people by way of photo opportunity while having meals at poor villager’s house or sweeping at one bus stand. They need to show their performance in terms of works of people welfare. So far, they have failed miserably in ensuring uninterrupted power supply and just putting blame on the Centre for not ensuring proper coal supplies,” said Mandeep Singh Samra, president of Jalandhar unit of BKU (Rajewal).

The farmers ended their dharna after officials from the PSPCL reached the site and assured them of doing their best to provide them relief. The farmers also handed over a memorandum to the officials.

The blockade cause much inconvenience to the passengers who were travelling by buses at that time. The buses coming from Phagwara side towards Jalandhar or Amritsar halted near the dharna site after which the passengers had to walk down long distances carrying their luggage before they could catch an autorickshaw or any other public transport to reach the bus stand or other destinations. The dharna site was 2.5 km short of the bus stand.

Satbir Kaur, who had come from Nawanshahr to Jalandhar with her daughter, said: “We did not know about the protest today. Had I been aware, I would have surely avoided coming during the protest hours. Our relatives kept waiting for us at the bus stand to pick us up while our bus stopped midway here. We thought that our bus would move after a while but it did not. We then started walking and informed them to pick us from near PAP Chowk.”

Since the dharna site was between Rama Mandi and PAP Chowk, it affected the entire traffic going towards Jalandhar-Amritsar road and Jalandhar-Hoshiarpur road, besides Jalandhar-Phagwara road. The commuters had to take longer, busier detours to reach their destination. The traffic remained affected past 3.30 pm.

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