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Saturday, 26 December 2020

Farmers take over Chandimandir toll plaza

Amit Bathla

Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 25

Hundreds of farmers, under the banner of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), threw open the boom barriers of the Himalayan Expressway toll plaza at Chandimandir on the Zirakpur-Shimla Highway this morning, as they intensified their ongoing agitation against three farm laws on a call of farmer unions.

Vehicles will have a toll-free pass at the plaza for three days till December 27. The three-day "toll-free plazas" call given by the protesting farmers will cost the Chandimandir toll plaza company up to Rs 45 lakh, Rs 15 lakh per day on an average. Gagan Sharma, in charge of the toll plaza, said: "As it was Christmas Day, we witnessed the movement of about 45k-50k vehicles against 30k-35k vehicles on normal days. Given the ensuing weekend, our total loss for three days could go up to Rs 45 lakh," he added. The toll official said the farmers, who came in groups, took over the toll plaza around 11:15 pm. Meanwhile, the farmers said their three-day toll-free call was successful on the first day and they had set up makeshift tents for overnight stay at the plaza.

Karam Singh, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader for the Pinjore-Kalka block, said around 40-50 farmers would stay overnight in makeshift tents at the toll plaza to ensure toll-free movement of vehicles.

No confrontation or conflict with the police was reported as the farmers peacefully raised slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The situation was no different at the Barwala toll plaza on the Panchkula-Yamunanagar highway.

On December 12, too, farmers had taken over the toll plaza for about 6 hours.

from The Tribune

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