Twenty-seven festival special trains have been cancelled, while thirty have been short-terminated in view of farmers’ agitation in Punjab, according to a circular released by the Indian Railways. Nine express trains have also been cancelled. All railway services to Punjab, including goods trains, have been halted for more than a month, affecting the supply of essentials.
Farmers in Punjab have been protesting against the three agriculture laws — The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 — since they were passed by the Parliament.
The protesting farmers claim to have vacated all the tracks but says they will only allow goods trains to run. The Railways, however, has made it clear that it will either run both passengers and the goods trains or none at all.
Last week, the talks between the government and representatives of farmer unions remained inconclusive. with both sides refusing to budge from their respective stands but agreeing to continue discussions. The farmer organisations insisted that the new farm laws be repealed and legal backing be provided for the minimum support price (MSP) mechanism.
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