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Monday, February 6, 2023

Hit by closure of Adani cement plants in Himachal, thousands of truck operators take to streets, block Chandigarh-Manali national highway 

The Newz Radar

Thousands of truck operators in Himachal Pradesh took to the streets on Thursday to protest the alleged arbitrary closure of two cement plants by the Adani Group about a month ago following a dispute over freight.

About 5,000 truck operators from Darlaghat (Solan) and Barmana (Bilaspur) have been participating in the 12-km march from Nauni to the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Bilaspur. The march started at 11.30 am and led to a massive traffic jam on the Chandigarh-Manali National Highway. The commuters were inconvenienced as the traffic had to be diverted to the Ghaghas-Jukhala road.

The protesters marched amid the deployment of about 100 police personnel. The Bilaspur District Truck Operators Association Barmana and the unions associated with the Darlaghat cement plant had announced the foot march from Nauni till the Deputy Commissioner’s office premises in Bilaspur where the protesters would conduct a mahapanchayat and the union leaders would address a gathering. A memorandum would also be submitted to the state government through the Deputy Commissioner.

Rakesh Thakur Rocky, head of Barmana union, said that the new government was not taking the issue of cement plant closure seriously. Another union leader, Suresh Chowdhary, expressed anger over the “wavering” policy of the government and the “dictatorship” of the Adani Group.

A similar foot march was held in Bilaspur on December 30 as well where the truck operators created a ruckus. The traffic had remained disrupted on the Chandigarh-Manali National Highway for about two hours. Superintendent of Police Diwakar Sharma said that in view of the march, elaborate security arrangements had been put in place.

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