Farmers again block Patiala-Chandigarh highway over demands; traffic jam leaves commuters harassed


Patiala, November 22

Farmers protesting at the Dhareri Jattan toll plaza on Patiala-Chandigarh road today again blocked the highway from 2 pm. The situation left many commuters harassed as the situation led to a traffic jam on the road. People were forced to take alternate routes to reach their destinations.

The farmers have been protesting at the toll plaza for various demands since November 16. Their demands include grant of compensation for loss of cotton crop, management of paddy straw without burning, cancellation of police cases registered against farmers during protests against the farm laws, and others. They had earlier blocked the highway on Friday but later allowed free passage of traffic. Some of them had also started a fast-unto-death two days ago but changed plans upon requests from within the union.

Patiala general secretary of Bharti Kisan Union Ekta (Sidhupur) Swarn Singh said union chief Jagjeet Singh Dallewal had already been holding a fast-unto death. He said, “His health also deteriorated because of this. But our demands have not been met. We garnered support from villagers and again blocked the highway at the toll plaza from 2 pm onwards today.”

He added the farmers will continue to block the road. “We are allowing passage of people with urgency including ambulances, school students, those who are ill and wedding procession and others.”

Zorawar Singh, Patiala district president of BKU Ekta Sidhupur said, “The union will continue blocking the road during the night as well.”

The blockage led to a traffic jam on the road as commuters stood in queues with their vehicles waiting to cross the toll plaza.

Kulveer Singh Sandhu, SHO Sadar police station said, “We have created multiple diversions from the road. The traffic has been diverted from Rajpura, Daun village, Passiana, Bhadurgarh and Urban Estate among other areas. We are making all possible arrangements for smooth traffic flow.”