The protests had begun on 24 September, driven by Punjab's farmers in opposition to the recent landmark farm sector reforms. So far, these protests have affected as many as 3,850 freight trains which could not be loaded. In addition to this, as many as 2,352 passenger trains have also been cancelled or diverted so far.
The losses of Rs 2,220 crore suffered by the Indian Railways on account of these protests include the loss of Rs 27 crore incurred on the passenger segment trains. Of the total loss, Northern Railways, which caters to the region, has alone suffered a massive loss of Rs 891 crore so far, losing an average of Rs 14.85 crore daily.
To put it in perspective, the total loss to exchequer could have instead funded almost three Chandrayaan-2 missions (considering one mission costs around Rs 800 crore) by the Indian Space Research Organisation.
Owing to protests, no goods trains have entered Punjab in over a month and a half, except for two days in late October. This has created a shortage of several essential goods including fertilizers which are needed for the sowing of wheat by the very same farming community.
The protestors have said that they shall allow goods trains to pass but will give no such guarantee for passenger trains. However, the Indian Railways has rejected the idea of only freight trains being allowed in Punjab.
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