New Delhi, November 4: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday staged a protest at iconic Jantar Mantar in Delhi over farmers' issues and against the suspension of goods trains to Punjab by the Indian Railways. Addressing media personnel from Jantar Mantar, Captain Amarinder Singh said that goods train to and from Punjab should be resumed and presidential assent given to farm amendment bills passed by the state assembly.
"I have made it clear that the Centre's attitude towards our farmers and undermining the state's rights is not correct. As the Chief Minister, it is my duty to protect the rights of my state and my people," the Chief Minister asserted. The suspension of goods trains to Punjab has caused a shortage of coal in the state, which led to a disrupted electricity supply. The Indian Railways has stopped Punjab-bound goods trains citing blockade by farmers on tracks.
As coal is running out of stock, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) on Tuesday announced that it will cut power supply for a couple of hours daily. Due to coal shortage, three private thermal plants - GVK Power, Nabha Power at Rajpura and Talwandi Sabo in Mansa - have suspended their operations. Two state-owned utilities - Lehra Mohabbat and Ropar power plants - also have coal for just one or two days.
Last week, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had sought personal intervention of Railways Minister Piyush Goyal for the restoration of freight movement, which remained suspended even after the farmers' decision to partially lift their blockade. Besides the power cut issue, the Punjab government is seeking the President's assent to the three Bills that aimed to negate the Central farm laws.