Train services were marginally affected at various places in Haryana and Punjab on Tuesday morning,as farmers led by BJP Kisan Morcha blocked rail traffic at 76 places across the eight wheat producing states in the country.
Though no major cancellations or diversions of trains were reported from any of the routes in Haryana,nearly a dozen trains got delayed by 30-45 minutes. Services were affected from 11 am to 1.30 pm mainly in Ambala,Tohana,Bhiwani,Faridabad and Panipat districts.
In Punjab,the Kisan Morcha stopped trains at several places in the state demanding a bonus for farmers and implementation of the recommendations of the M S Swaminathan report. Services were affected mainly in Sahnewal,Ludhiana,Sangrur,Bathinda,Amritsar,Phagwara and Hoshiarpur.
Movement of a few trains,including Delhi-Amritsar Shatabadi were hit,with railway officials saying that protesters were not allowing to run trains from Amritsar,Phagwara and Sahnewal. We have requested Punjab Chief Secretary and Home Secretary to take adequate steps to clear affected railway tracks in Punjab in order to ensure smooth movement of trains, Divisional Railway Manager (Ferozepur Division) V Chaubey said.
Meanwhile,a railway official of Ambala division said that there had not been any impact on rail traffic in the division till Rajpura in Punjab,till Kalka in Haryana and till Una in Himachal Pradesh because of the protest.
Kisan Morcha leader Om Prakash Dhankar and hundreds of his supporters blocked rail traffic in Bhiwani,followed by BJP workers blocking tracks in other parts of Haryana and Punjab.
It was a wake up call for the government to either listen to farmers grievances and redress them by adopting Swaminathan Commissions recommendations or we will be forced to intensify our stir. It was just the beginning and a symbolic protest by farmers. If the government still fails to listen to our demands,we will intensify the agitation further, said Dhankar.
The other states where rail traffic was disrupted were Himachal Pradesh,Rajasthan,Uttar Pradesh,Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand.