Sit-in by contractual employees leaves commuters stranded

Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 8

A road blockade by contractual employees of various departments of the state at the Sewa Singh Thikriwala roundabout has completely disrupted traffic movement in the Chief Minister’s hometown. Residents owing to traffic jams since yesterday morning continue be at the receiving end due to the ongoing protest.

Notably, protesters have already erected tents in middle of roads and have been staging a sit-in therein. Residents are complaining that the district administration, along with the traffic police, has not done any planning for alternative routes to avoid protesting sites.

Residents complained that they had been left to their own fate amid traffic chaos in the city. One of the doctors at Government Rajindra Hospital said, “I had to travel five kilometres extra to reach hospital due to the ongoing protest. The traffic police have not come up with a plan of alternative routes to avoid the protesting site.”

Plying of public transport buses on the Chandigarh-Bathinda national highway has also been affected because protesting sites are on highways.

Moreover, shopkeepers surrounding the Thikriwala roundabout are facing financial losses due to protest.

Meanwhile, later in the evening, the district administration announced that heavy vehicles would not be allowed in the city from 8 am to 8 pm. The administration also said the movement of heavy vehicles was causing traffic jams in the city.

The Patiala Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Charanjit Singh, said, “We have not given any permission to protesters. They (protesters) are causing inconvenience to city residents. We have been requesting them for a dialogue. However, they are adamant on their demands. If need arises, we will take action against them.”

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