Farmers to shut offices of toll company, NHAI if demands not met by June 30 : The Tribune India

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Farmers to shut offices of toll company, NHAI if demands not met by June 30

Loss of toll collected at barrier pegged at Rs 8 cr in eight days

Farmers to shut offices of toll company, NHAI if demands not met by June 30

Farmers protest at the Ladhowal toll barrier in Ludhiana on Sunday. PHOTO: INDERJEET VERMA



Tribune News Service

Nikhil Bhardwaj

Ludhiana, June 23

With the farmers protest entering eight day on Sunday, the loss of fee collected at the Ladhowal toll plaza has been pegged at Rs 8 crore. Farmers have also decided to step up the agitation.

A meeting of leaders of different farmer unions was held today during which it was announced that if the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) did not accept their demands before June 30, the protesters would lock offices of the NHAI and the toll company at Ladhowal.

Talking to The Tribune on Sunday, Dilbagh Singh, president, Bharatiya Kisan Mazdoor Union, said the protest had entered eight day. He said farmers would not relent as the protest would continue for an indefinite period.

“Today, we convened a special meeting during which we have given an ultimatum to officials of the NHAI to accept our demands by June 30 else farmers would lock all offices of the NHAI and the toll company managing the Ladhowal toll barrier. Offices would not be allowed to open till our demands met. We have taken this decision and will abide by it,” said Dilbagh Singh.

Ladhowal toll plaza manager Deepinder Pal said on an average, 40,000 vehicles passed through the barrier during 24 hours. He said average toll collection for each day was around Rs 1 crore. The expected loss due to the ongoing farmers protest would be around Rs 8 crore in eight days, he added.

Asked if the loss would be incurred by the company managing the toll plaza or by the NHAI, which owns the contract, the manager said these things would be decided once farmers ended their protest and toll barrier starts working.

The Ladhowal toll plaza is the costliest barrier in Punjab. Farmers have been demanding that toll charges should be decreased to bare minimum. Farmers want that the minimum charges should be Rs 150 for multiple rides for 24 hours.

Interestingly, apart from farmers, other people from the cross section of society have extended their support to the agitation. They are protesting along with farmers at the toll plaza.

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The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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