Farm Stir: Shambhu border blocked, traders, eateries feel pinch : The Tribune India

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Farm Stir: Shambhu border blocked, traders, eateries feel pinch

Students suffer as Net remains suspended in nearby areas

Farm Stir: Shambhu border blocked,  traders, eateries feel pinch

Tractor-trailers parked near the Shambhu border in Patiala. Photo: Rajesh Sachar



Tribune News Service

Aman Sood

Patiala, March 3

Mechanic Satwant Singh (64) is a worried man as it has been over three weeks since he has earned enough to pay his helper at his small dhaba his February wages.

Another dhaba near Shambhu has been closed for the past two weeks as there are hardly any customers due to the blockade by farmers and traffic diversions. Many others did not have a customer for the past over three weeks and were suffering losses.

Sales dip

For the past few days, sales at my tile showroom and adjoining dhaba that I own have been negligible. A friend of mine, who owns a fuel station, too says that the losses are mounting as no traffic is allowed on the stretch and hence his fuel demand has dipped. —Kamal Aggarwal, A trader near shambhu

“I have to pay for my family’s food and other household expenditures, but I have earned nothing since February 12. The last customer I had was on Sunday, two days before the farmers gave a call for the protest march. I am a small mechanic and earn daily by repairing vehicles,” says Satwant Singh, who owns a small kiosk on the national highway near Shambhu. “I know the farmers are fighting for a cause, but my request to them and the government is to ensure a resolution soon, so that the common man does not suffer,” he stated.

Industrialists from Ludhiana and Mandi Gobindgarh claim that on an average, goods worth Rs 2,000-2,500 crore were sent daily to various parts of the country, but now the supplies are getting delayed.

“Even the raw material arriving into Punjab is hit, thus pushing up prices. The transportation cost of goods has increased and it is high time that tfarmer unions and the Centre thought about the industry as well. Even the Punjab Government should start thinking about the industry and ensure that farmers do not continue to block the highway,” says Sachin Sood, a Mandi Gobindgarh-based steel manufacturer.

Meanwhile, traders on both sides of the highway continue to suffer financial losses amid fears of a repeat of 2020. “For the past few days, the sale at my tile showroom and adjoining dhaba that I own is negligible as there are no commuters. A friend of mine, who owns a fuel station, too says that the losses are mounting as no traffic is allowed on the stretch and hence his fuel demand has dipped,” says Kamal Aggarwal, a trader near Shambhu.

Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher said, “The Centre should show seriousness towards resolving the issue and immediately bring an ordinance on the guaranteed MSP on all crops. If not, then the government should allow us to reach and protest in Delhi,” he states.

Similar is the condition of villages near Shambhu, where the Internet services have been halted.

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