Singhu border: Farmers improve infrastructure to prepare for prolonged protest
(Sourced from PTI)
With a resolution of the stalemate over new farm legislation seeming unlikely anytime soon, farmers at the Singhu border have started strengthening infrastructure at the protest site to prepare for a long haul. Samyukta Kisan Morcha leaders have reiterated to continue the agitation indefinitely till the government scraps the three contentious farm laws and extends a legal guarantee of the minimum support price (MSP).
To increase security measures and keep miscreants at bay, 100 CCTV cameras with digital video recorders are being installed at the main stage used by the Morcha and also at some identified spots across the protest site's stretch on the GT Karnal Road.
"We are strengthening our communication and other infrastructure to continue the agitation for a long period," said Deep Khatri associated with managing logistics at the Singhu Border protest site. "We are also readying a control room behind the main stage for monitoring and keeping a tab on the happenings here as a lot of people come and go every day," he added.
Khatri said, "Further, a team of 600 volunteers has been raised for patrolling the protest site, managing traffic, and keeping a watch at night. These volunteers have been provided with easily identifiable green jackets and identity cards."
Work is also on to install large LCD screens at ten vantage points, at a distance of 700-800 meters, to enable the farmers to watch activities like speeches of the leaders from the main stage. "We will also use these points as pit stops for ambulances and teams of volunteers to coordinate traffic management, patrolling, and response in case of any emergency," Khatri said.
Khatri said, "In order to deal with any disruption to internet service as was done recently by the government, the Morcha is also hiring a separate optical fiber line for wifi facility."
Khatri said, "In view of the approaching summer, electric fans and air conditioners are also being installed at the main stage used by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha and other facilities are being strengthened there." The farmers protesting at Singhu asserted that they were ready to camp in protest for months and there was no dearth of people and resources to do so.
Ranjit Singh from Moga in Punjab said, "We come from the culture of langar (community kitchen), so food is not a problem. Many farmers come here, stay for several days and go back to their villages to attend to their fields while others come and join us." "This is going on and there is no lack of farmers' strength here," he added.
Morcha leader Rakesh Tikait who is staging the protest at Delhi's Ghazipur border had on Wednesday said that the farmers' agitation will be long-drawn and will spread across the country in the coming days. "The government should talk to the farmer leaders to find a solution to the issues at hand," he added.
Farmers are protesting at Singhu, Ghazipur, Tikri border of Delhi since November, demanding that the Centre scrap the new farm legislation. The stalemate over the farm laws continues as 11 rounds of talks between the government and farmer leaders have failed to achieve any breakthrough.