Farmer unions continue protest at Ladhowal toll plaza for second day : The Tribune India

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Farmer unions continue protest at Ladhowal toll plaza for second day

Firm managing barrier losing Rs 1 crore for every 24 hours | SDM meets protesters

Farmer unions continue protest at Ladhowal toll plaza for second day

Farmers protest at the toll barrier. Photo: Inderjeet Verma



Tribune News Service

Nikhil Bhardwaj

Ludhiana, June 17

As farmer unions continued protest at the Ladhowal toll plaza for the second day, vehicles were allowed to pass the barrier without paying charges. Toll company officials said on an average at least 40,000 vehicles passed from the toll barrier during 24 hours. They said the estimated loss for the company would be around Rs 1 crore.

Sharp weapons, rods found in a sack

A bag containing sharp weapons and rods was found dumped in a pit at the toll barrier. After farmers noticed the sack, they informed the Ladhowal police which arrived at the spot and took it into its possession. “We will find out who kept these sharp weapons at the toll barrier and for what purpose,” the police said.

Notably, the Ladhowal toll plaza is the most expensive toll plaza of Punjab. One side toll for car is Rs 220 at the toll plaza. Not only this, if a vehicle does not have a FASTag then its driver has to pay Rs 430 as tax for just one trip. During the last one year, the rates of this toll plaza were hiked three times.

Sharp weapons and iron rods recovered from the Ladhowal toll plaza in Ludhiana on Monday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Farmers have been demanding that toll rates should be reduced to the bare minimum so that commuters could get relief from the exorbitant charges. Today, on the instructions of Sakshi Sawhney, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, a Sub-Divisional Magistrate visited the toll plaza and held a meeting with farmers. He assured them to take up their issue with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

Dilbag Singh, president, Bhartiya Kisan Mazdoor Union (BKU-M), said a meeting was held with the SDM during which farmer unions submitted a memorandum to him. The SDM assured that he would raise the issue of high toll before the NHAI so that farmers demand could be met.

“We are committed to our old stand. Till our demands are not met, we will continue protest at the toll barrier. The company running toll plaza would not be allowed to collect charges from commuters," said a farmer leader Singh.

Sakshi Sawhney, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, said the SDM visited the toll barrier for holding talks with farmers so that an amicable solution could be reached to end their protest.

As per the latest revision in toll charges, a car owner is shelling out Rs 220 for a single journey (earlier Rs 215) and Rs 330 for return journey (earlier Rs 225). Light vehicle owners are paying Rs 535 for a return journey within a day (earlier Rs 520).

Bus and truck drivers are now paying Rs 745 for single journey (earlier Rs 730) and Rs 1,120 for return journey (earlier Rs 1,095), while drivers of heavy construction vehicles (up to three axles) pay Rs 815 for single journey (earlier Rs 795) and Rs 1,225 for return journey (earlier Rs 1,190). The seven and more axle vehicles had to pay Rs 2,140 against the earlier amount of Rs 2,085 for return journey. The next toll charge revision as per the NHAI would be on March 31, 2025.

Farmer unions demanded that the minimum toll for cars at this barrier should be Rs 150 for multiple trips in 24 hours. Unions said the toll for other vehicles should be decided on this basis.

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