It’s unfortunate, ‘rail roko’ must end: CM - ECAS Punjab

It’s unfortunate, ‘rail roko’ must end: CM

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Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 18

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has expressed disappointment over the adamant refusal of farm unions to completely lift their rail blockade, which had brought the state virtually to a standstill, causing immense hardships and losses.

Reacting to the decision taken by the unions at Wednesday's meeting, the Chief Minister said he had expected them to back down from their unyielding approach in the interest of Punjab, especially in view of the state government's absolute support for their cause, and also in light of the Centre's decision to engage with them on the issue of farm laws.

The decision of the unions to maintain status quo with respect to their blockade of passenger trains, which was obstructing movement of goods trains also, was extremely unfortunate, Capt Amarinder said. "They should realise that things cannot not continue like this ad infinitum and if rail transportation continued to remain suspended any longer, the state will plunge into an irreversible crisis," he said, adding that no government could afford such a situation.

Pointing out that his government had backed the farmers to the hilt since the Centre introduced the agricultural ordinances, the Chief Minister said the Bills brought in the Vidhan Sabha were a major step towards negating the impact of the Central laws. Instead of reciprocating the gesture, the unions were standing firm on not allowing trains to move in the state without considering the grave financial and other implications it was having on the state exchequer, the industry, the people and the farmers themselves, he said.

The industry alone had already suffered huge losses, noted the Chief Minister, adding that coming on the heels of the Covid disruption, this was putting the state under massive pressure.

As for the agriculture sector, 60,000 gunny bags were stuck in Delhi and Rajpura, thus impacting the lifting of paddy crop from grain markets, the Chief Minister said. The suspension of train services had also prevented the supply of 40 lakh metric tonnes of parboiled rice from Punjab to Bihar and Eastern UP for PDS distribution, causing the Central Government to pick up the grain from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, he added.

from The Tribune

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