New Delhi: Agitated farmers are slated to block the 135-km-long Western Peripheral Expressway, also known as Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway, from 11 a.m. to till 4 p.m. on Saturday to mark 100 days of protest against the Centre’s farm laws.
The farmer agitation against Centre’s farm laws, had begun on November 26. The step to block the expressway is a part of the strategy to intensify the ongoing protest.
Those protesting at Singhu border will reach Kundli and block the toll plazas falling on the way. Besides this, farmers from Ghazipur and Tikri borders will block Dasna and Bahadurgarh toll plaza, respectively. Those sitting on the Shahjahanpur border will block the KMP Expressway touching Gurugram-Manesar.
Their plan of action includes freeing up the toll plazas from collecting fees. Farmers have also said that the toll plaza nearest to the border area will be blocked.
Rajvir Singh Jadaun, Uttar Pradesh President of the Bharatiya Kisan Union stationed at Ghazipur border told IANS, “These toll plazas will be blocked in a peaceful manner and passers-by will not be troubled. We will keep water for the passers-by. They will also be apprised of our issues with the farm laws.”
He went on to say, “Emergency vehicles will not be stopped, whether it is an ambulance, a fire brigade vehicle or foreign tourists. Military vehicles will also not be stopped.”
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), which is leading the protests, has also requested the common people to wave black flags at homes and offices to support the movement, and protest against the government.
The 53-km Manesar to Palwal section was inaugurated by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari in April 2016. The remaining 83-km-long Kundli to Manesar section was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 2018.
It is a six-laned, with ten tolled entry and exit points, 52 underpasses and 23 overpasses.
Tens of thousands of farmers have been camping at the various borders of Delhi, including Ghazipur, Tikri and Singhu to protest against the three farm laws. In these 100 days, the farmers have braved harsh weather conditions, but remained firm on their demands.
They want the repeal of the contentious laws and a legal guarantee on minimum support price (MSP).
The farmers claim that the laws will weaken the MSP system. The Centre, however, has touted the laws as historic, long-needed reforms in the agriculture sector and said that it will bring investment to the market. It also assured that the MSP system will remain as it is.
The agitated farmers, however, fear that the laws will leave them at the mercy of the big corporates and end the ‘mandi system’, where farmers are assured of a minimum support price for their produce.
Multiple rounds of talks have taken place between the government and the farm leaders, but so far it has failed to end the deadlock.