Bharatiya Kisan Union threatens to seize UP toll plazas
Lucknow: Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) has threatened to seize all toll plazas in Uttar Pradesh if their demand for free movement for farmers across it was not met soon.
In a letter written to officials of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) demanded that since most toll roads were built on land acquired from them, it should be made toll free.
The farmers have been protesting against the toll tax on the Yamuna Expressway for more than a month and say that it "was just a matter of time" before they seize the toll plazas across the state.
"We have done it on the Meerut toll plaza and we will soon take over the toll plazas at Itaunja, Atariya," Harnam Singh Verma, district president of BKU, told a news agency on Saturday.
He added that a meeting of agitating farmers, BKU activists and the NHAI officials is slated for Dec 6 and if no solution is thrashed out they will decide on the dates of "taking over the toll plazas".
Farmers from Sitapur, Hardoi, Unnao and Lucknow have been asked to congregate here Dec 7 to make an action plan to further escalate their protests.
The farmers have been demanding a free access through the toll roads and have on more than four occasions in the past four months, fought with toll plaza managements over taxes levied on them.
On a particular stretch on the Yamuna Expressway, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had announced waiver for farmers of the area.