Punjab: Farmer unions allow train services to resume from Monday for 15 days1 min read . Updated: 21 Nov 2020, 04:40 PM IST
- 'Happy to share that starting 23rd Nov night, Kisan Unions have decided to end rail blockades for 15 days. I welcome this step since it will restore normalcy to our economy,' says CM Amarinder Singh
- Farmers want talks over new farm laws to happen with Centre during the next 15 days or they say agitation will resume
Farmer unions in Punjab on Saturday have allowed resumption of all trains from Monday for 15 days during which Central Government should open talks over its new farm laws. If talks don't happen in 15 days, then agitation will resume, said Information & Public Relations Department, Punjab
"Had a fruitful meeting with Kisan Unions. Happy to share that starting 23rd Nov night, Kisan Unions have decided to end rail blockades for 15 days. I welcome this step since it will restore normalcy to our economy. I urge Central Govt to resume rail services to Punjab forthwith," said Punjab CM Amarinder Singh on Twitter.
With farmers refusing to allow movement of passenger trains in the state, Singh had on Thursday urged the Centre to show magnanimity and not link restoration of freight services with movement of passenger trains.
Singh had also urged the Union government to support his government in creating a congenial environment for ending the prolonged farmers' agitation, which had grave repercussions for the state and the nation.
The deadlock between protesting farmers and the Railways continued over the issue of resumption of trains.
Punjab farmers' bodies on Wednesday had said that they would consider allowing passenger trains to run in the state if the Centre starts running the goods trains first.
However, the Railways had refused, saying it would either operate both freight and passenger trains or none.
The suspension of goods trains has hit the supplies of fertilizers for the agriculture sector and coal for thermal power plants, besides adversely affecting the industry.
Amarinder Singh had on Thursday said it was the joint responsibility of both, the state and the central governments, to provide a conducive environment for resolving the current crisis resulting from suspension of train services.
The farmers' bodies were also under pressure from the industries which have seen a loss of about ₹30,000 crore because of suspension of goods trains in the state.
Halting of goods trains has also hit the supplies of fertilizers for the agriculture sector, coal for thermal power plants and supply of gunny bags for paddy procurement.
The Railways said on Friday it has suffered a loss of ₹2,220 crore, including ₹67 crore in passenger revenue, due to the ongoing protest by farmers in Punjab.