Chandigarh, Nov 4 (IANS) Even as the Punjab government said that the state was staring at power crisis due to disrupted supplies of essentials, fertilisers and coal at thermal plants, 28 of the 30 protesting farmer unions on Wednesday said they will allow goods trains to ply for a fortnight more till November 20 in the northern state.
Passenger train services will continue to remain disrupted in the state as farmers are protesting against three agriculture-related central laws by holding sit-ins on tracks at around three dozen places across Punjab.
Their sit-ins against BJP leaders, corporate houses and toll plazas will also continue.
Farmers also decided to continue with their planned countrywide ‘chakka jam’ on Thursday, for which a call was given by 200 farm unions affiliated with the All India Kisan Sangharsh Committee. They will block all national highways from noon to 4 pm.
A meeting of the 30 farmer unions of the state here, except BKU Ekta Ugrahan and Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, decided to allow unhindered passage to goods trains till November 20.
Both unions have decided to keep the railways tracks leading to two private thermal plants in Punjab blocked to lodge their protest against the corporate houses.
They had earlier allowed the passage of goods trains in the state till November 5, but the Railways decided to keep all railway services in Punjab suspended as a precaution.
Punjab has been bracing for massive power cuts after completely running out of power, with coal stocks in the state drying up fully as a result of the prolonged suspension of goods trains.
As day-time power shortage rose to 1,000-1,500 MW, with the last of the state’s power plants, GVK Thermal, also running out of coal, the Power Department has been left with no option but to impose power cuts on all residential, commercial and agricultural consumers beginning Tuesday evening.