Residents and traders near Singhu border hope for business recovery

Residents and traders living around the Singhu border breathed a sigh of relief on Friday after the government announced it would repeal agricultural laws, hoping to revive their businesses and get their lives back on track.

They have been hit due to roadblocks by farmers staging the unrest for over a year.

Thousands of farmers in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, under the aegis of various farmers’ unions, have been demonstrating at the borders of the national capital since November 26 to demand the repeal of the three laws agricultural.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday that the Center would repeal all three farm laws, marking a decline in his government to meet relentless demand from farmers protesting in several states against the reform measures.

Sandeep Lochan, who runs a construction workshop on the Singhu border, said turnover fell to 10%.

“First of all, the coronavirus hit the business. For a year now my business has suffered again because of the farmers’ protest. The business has fallen to 10% from what we were earning before. was a busy road before the demonstration It will take about six months to a year for the company to get back on track, ”said Lochan, a resident of Sonipat.

Jaipal Sharma, a resident of Khatkad village near the Singhu border, said that due to increased traffic in inland areas, the roads were damaged.

“Traffic has increased in the area of ​​the neighboring village as people take alternative routes due to the border closure. People are stuck in traffic for hours. Roads in areas of the village were damaged. The owners of general stores were able to get hold of things. After the announcement of the repeal of agricultural laws, we hope that our lives will resume soon, ”said Sharma, a retired Delhi Transport Corporation employee.

Several businesses near the border are closed, a thick layer of dust settles on their shutters.

Meanwhile, celebrations erupted at the Singhu border protest site shortly after Modi announced the repeal of agricultural laws, but some farmers said the unrest would continue until parliament repeals legislation and that their other demands are also met.

Amit Gupta, who runs a bicycle parts store near the Singhu border, said he had even considered changing the location of his store.

“I had closed my shop for two months when the protesters came and stayed here. Later, I started to open my shop for an hour or two a day. I gave the shop’s six-month rent out of pocket. However, after the second wave (Covid), we started our work from scratch. I had also thought about moving my shop to another location, ”said Gupta, a resident of Narela.

Another local Manoj said: “The rate for a tempo has been increased from Rs 10 to Rs 30 to Rs 50. We are not able to get the facilities. We are struggling to reach the hospitals.

“There are a lot of factories here and the workers live in rented accommodation. As the factories have been closed, the workers have also left the area and the inhabitants are also suffering this loss. We suffered a lot during the protest,” he said. he lamented.

Rajesh Kumar, who has run a fruit shop for 26 years in the region, said the pandemic had not affected the business, but the farmers’ protest had shaken it.

He buys fruits at Azadpur market and sells them near the Singhu border.

“Everything has changed since the start of the event. I regularly visit Azadpur market, but due to the road closure the distance has been increased. The road is not good, because the fruits are damaged and their prices are automatically reduced. The price has also been significantly increased. After the announcement this morning, we hope that ‘acche din’ (good days) will come, ”Kumar said.

Vedpal, a resident of Pritampura village near the Kundali-Manesar-Palwal highway, said his income had fallen by 50%.

“I transport goods to different places. Many factories have been closed and my income has been reduced to Rs 500 per day from Rs 1,000. Every person here at the Singhu border is in difficulty, ”he said.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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