Farmers' Rail Roko in Punjab impacting supply of essential commodities; power plants face coal shortage

2 weeks ago 22
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Locals join farmers in their ongoing 'Rail Roko' or 'Stop the Trains' agitation, against the central governmen...Read More

NEW DELHI: The

Rail Roko protest

by farmers in Punjab is causing severe disruption in the supply of essential commodities,

central government sources

said on Wednesday. They said about 194 rakes (trains) carrying coal, fertiliser, cement, petroleum, steel and containers are stuck in different parts of the state as

rail movement

has been blocked by protesters.
Sources said holding up of coal loaded rakes may cripple the

thermal power plants

in the state. They said Goindwal thermal power plant in Punjab has already shut down while

Talwandi

and

Nabha

plants in the state have coal stocks for only 3-6 days. Nearly 80 rakes loaded with coal are stranded due to the protest.
The rail traffic in Punjab has been badly impacted due to the ongoing agitation by various farmers’ unions since September 24.
The agitation has led to complete cancellation of all passenger carrying trains to destinations of Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) since the protest started against the passage of farm reform laws by the

Centre

.
Officials said general manager, Northern Railway has also taken up this issue with Punjab chief secretary requesting for immediate resumption of rail movement.
Freight traffic across the state has been severely impacted since October 1 leading to complete disruption to the supply of essential commodities to the state and to the UT of J&K. Sources said around 25 fertiliser rakes are held up in the state. “Regular messages are being received from industries/ companies whose rakes have got stuck due to the agitation,” said an official.
Similarly, the movement of wheat and

rice

by FCI from Punjab to other states has also been halted leading to loss of loading of more than 25 foodgrain rakes per day which is also affecting farmers of the state. Oil marketing companies (OMCs) have flagged serious concerns regarding the supply of petroleum products for Jammu depot as the POL stocks are depleting fast and have requested for immediate movement of rakes for meeting demands for Jammu area and further supplying to Srinagar, Leh and Kargil area.
Officials said general manager, Northern Railway has also taken up this issue with Punjab chief secretary requesting for immediate resumption of rail movement.

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