Punjab – September 28: Commencing a three-day protest, Punjab Farmers took to the railway tracks in the Firozpur division, demanding the implementation of a minimum support price (MSP) for their crops and compensation for flood-related losses.
This protest, organized under the banner of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC), has disrupted train services in the region significantly. Railway authorities report that 18 trains felt the impact on the first day of the protest, with 12 train cancellations and the re-routing of the remaining six.
Among their demands, the farmers are pressing for a legal assurance of MSP for all crops, as well as compensation for flood-induced damages experienced in Punjab recently. Additionally, they are calling for the withdrawal of cases against fellow farmers who participated in protests against the now-repealed farm laws.
Dilbag Singh, one of the protesters, expressed the frustrations of the farming community: “We have been demanding MSP for our crops for years, but the government has not paid any attention to our demands. We are now forced to take this step in order to get our voices heard.”
Farmers have asserted their unwavering commitment to continuing the protest until their demands are met. They have also issued a warning, signaling their readiness to escalate their agitation if the government fails to respond to their demands promptly.
The ongoing protest has caused substantial inconvenience to passengers, with numerous train cancellations and delays. Nonetheless, the farmers maintain that they are ready to face any repercussions to secure their demands.
Impact on the Economy
The disruption of train services is expected to cast a shadow on Punjab’s economy, a major agricultural hub where the smooth flow of goods and services is vital.
Furthermore, the protest’s ripple effect may extend to Punjab’s tourism industry. The state boasts popular tourist destinations like the Golden Temple and the Wagah Border, but potential tourists are likely to reconsider travel plans during the ongoing protests.
The Punjab government has appealed to the protesting farmers, urging them to lift the rail blockade and engage in negotiations. Authorities have reiterated their commitment to addressing the farmers’ concerns.
However, the farmers have expressed their unwillingness to negotiate until their demands are met in full. They remain steadfast in their determination to continue the protest until their grievances are redressed.