A protest by farmers in Haryana's Kurukshetra that began Friday morning caused a massive traffic jam by the night on a key national highway, with hundreds of protesters blockading the road and hundreds of vehicles — trucks and other long-route vehicles, mostly — stuck near Shahbad. Police were seen negotiating with the union leaders but the farmers hadn't budged even by midnight, the time of filing of this report.
This highway connects Delhi with Chandigarh — passing through one end of Haryana to another — and then further to Shimla and other parts of Himachal Pradesh.
The blockade has caused inconvenience for the general public passing through the highway. With hundreds of vehicles stuck for many hours, the Ambala Traffic Police has now directed the vehicles to alternate routes to ease the traffic.
Demanding early purchase of paddy for fear of humidity and rain spoiling the grain, the farmers blocked the highway near Shahbad town. They said they don't have storage space, hence the state government should advance the date of procurement.
The protesters, led by Bharatiya Kisan Union-Charuni, also said hundreds of quintals got destroyed in the grain markets in Ambala, Kaithal and other districts, due to increase in the "moisture content", which is also a measure of the paddy's quality before purchase.
किसान साथियों ओर देशवासियों किसान यूनियन चढूनी ने बेरिगेट तोड़ दिए जब तक ख़रीद नही आती तब तक NH1 जाम pic.twitter.com/eeFf00kBa0- Gurnam Singh Charuni (@GurnamsinghBku) September 23, 2022
The official procurement begins from October 1. But there are farmers who sowed the crop early or have used early-maturing varieties.
The government hasn't yet given any commitment.