Hundreds of people across Punjab and Haryana on Monday faced a harrowing time as buses, taxis and rails did not ply due to the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM)-called Bharat Bandh.
Commuters were left stranded at railway stations and bus stands in various towns and cities of both the states as public transport was stranded. People were forced to trudge with heavy luggage and office-goers too were hit hard.
State roadways, private buses and taxis did not ply, causing misery to thousands of passengers.
Buses remained parked at bus stands or bus depots, and passengers were left stranded.
Auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws made a fast buck from people wanting to reach their destination on time.
Most of the roads across the states, including in joint capital Chandigarh, wore a near-deserted look.
While most of the private schools were shut, the attendance at government offices was negligible.
“We have decided not to attend the office owing to the closure of all major road links that started early in the morning,” said Nisha Singh, a government employee, who daily commutes from her hometown Kharar to Chandigarh.
The worst affected places were Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Amritsar, Bathinda, Ferozepur and Moga.
In neighbouring Haryana, there were reports of protesters blocking highways in Ambala, Karnal, Panipat, Sirsa, Fatehabad and Kurukshetra districts.
“Today I had to reach Delhi for some urgent work. The strike affects the common man,” said Parkash Singh, a commuter from Karnal in Haryana.
Over 13 lakh people travel daily in nearly 4,200 Haryana Roadways buses, including luxury Volvo buses, on intra- and inter-state routes.
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Monday appealed to the Central government to repeal the three farm legislations, but he asked farmers to raise their voices in a peaceful manner.
“#IStandWithFarmers & appeal the Union Govt. to repeal the three anti-farmer laws,” the Chief Minister tweeted.
“Our farmers have been struggling for their rights for more than a year & it is high time that their voice is heard. I request the farmers to raise their voice in a peaceful manner.”
Punjab Congress President Navjot Sidhu said: “The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee firmly stands by farmer unions in the war of right and wrong you cannot afford to be neutral. We urge every Congress worker to fight with all their might against the three unconstitutional black laws.”