Thousands of Punjab farmers protest against diesel hike, hand over tractor keys to officials

Thousands of farmers drove down to the office of the local authorities in Samrala, Ludhiana to hand over the keys of their tractors as part of a unique protest against the rising diesel prices.

PTI May 29, 2018 22:13:31 IST
Thousands of Punjab farmers protest against diesel hike, hand over tractor keys to officials

Chandigarh: Thousands of farmers drove down to the office of the local authorities in Samrala, Ludhiana to hand over the keys of their tractors as part of a unique protest against the rising diesel prices.

Thousands of Punjab farmers protest against diesel hike hand over tractor keys to officials

Representational image. Reuters

Organised by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal), the protesters alleged apathy on the part of the central government claiming that the incessant fuel price hikes were only adding to the woes of the debt-ridden farmers.

"The price of diesel, which is an important input cost of cultivation, has risen so sharply that it has gone out of the reach of the farmers," BKU (Rajewal) chief Balbir Singh Rajewal said.

“The increase in the diesel prices has come at a time when paddy sowing is going to start next month. As per rough estimates, the rise in the fuel rates will put an additional burden of Rs 400-600 per hour for ploughing operations," he claimed.

The livid farmers blamed the high fuel prices for agricultural activities getting severely affected.

"It has become unviable to carry out farming activities because of the fuel price hikes. We have come here on our tractors to hand over the keys to the district administration as we cannot afford to use them," a farmer lamented.

As hundreds of tractors converged on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana road in Samrala, the commuters had a harrowing time, while the administration scrambled to manage the massive traffic snarl.

 

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