Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], October 26 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has sought personal intervention of Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal for the immediate restoration of freight movement, which remains suspended in the state even after the farmers' decision to partially lift their blockade.
The Chief Minister spoke to the Union Minister on Monday in the light of the decision of the Railways to extend the ban on movement of goods trains, initially imposed for two days (on October 24 and 25), for another four days.
The decision of the Railways to discontinue freight movement in Punjab subsequent to the partial success of negotiations with the farmers had negated the efforts of the state so far, said the Chief Minister, warning that the move may, in fact, further provoke the agitated farmers protesting against the Centre's farm laws.
According to a Punjab government release, the Chief Minister also wrote to Goyal expressing serious concern that if the freight movement is not started immediately, "not only Punjab will face serious disruption in economic activities and shortage of essential supplies, but Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Leh & Ladakh will also face serious economic crisis".
He cited various requests received by the state government from different quarters, including central ministries and departments, for immediate resumption of freight movement through Punjab.
The release said that the state government, through constant engagement in negotiations with the farmers' unions, had succeeded in convincing them to allow a partial resumption of services with withdrawal of their blockade from October 22.
"However, after the restoration of movement of freight trains on October 23, the Railways had unilaterally stopped movement of all freight trains in Punjab," the Chief Minister wrote in his letter. (ANI)