Over 1,000 contractual teachers have blocked the national highway in Kharar in Chandigarh for nearly a day demanding regularisation of their jobs, giving commuters in the region a harrowing time.
The teachers have blocked the NH 21 highway since 2:30 PM on Saturday, causing massive traffic snarls at Chandigarh-Kharar Highway, police officials said on Sunday.
Despite efforts by Mohali district administration officials, the protesting teachers have refused to lift the blockade, demanding a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, official sources said.
"We are demanding that the state government should regularise 7,000 contractual teachers working across Punjab," Ajmer Aulakh, president of Education Providers Union Punjab whose members have been protesting, said.
"We are also demanding a meeting with Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal to inform him about our demands," he said. The traffic coming from Chandigarh has been re-routed via Landran and commuters coming from Ludhiana have been diverted towards Kurali-Mullanpur to Chandigarh, the sources said.
A large number of trucks laden with industrial goods got stuck in the blockade near the Balongi ICC barrier, they said. Deputy Commissioner of Mohali TPS Sidhu said, "ADC Parveen Thind has been assigned the job of holding talks with agitating teachers to resolve the issue. We are fully aware of the problems being faced by commuters."
"We will now give them the last chance to lift the blockade otherwise, mild force could be used by the police to disperse them," he said.