Vehicular movement on key routes hit as police place barricades to stall protesters
Delhi on Monday morning witnessed heavy traffic jams in several areas as borders were closed for movement following the Bharat Bandh call by farmers protesting against the three farm reform laws. The traffic situation eased later in the day.
Showing solidarity with the farmers, Delhi Congress chief Ch. Anil Kumar visited the Ghazipur border and joined the protesters. Mr. Kumar said the farmers have been sitting on protest for the past 10 months but Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “who has time to visit the construction site of the Central Vista project, has no time to listen to their demands”.
“Farmers are educated and they understand the long-term implications of the three anti-farm laws. In the long run, the laws will edge farmers out of the farming sector, with a select few corporate houses dictating terms to them,” Mr. Kumar said. He added that the governments of Prime Minister Modi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal were responsible for the massive traffic jams in the Capital, as they had “consistently refused to listen to the farmers’ demands”. “The farmers had no other option but to call an all-India bandh to awaken the sleeping governments,” he said.
The Delhi traffic police said they had closed both carriageways at Dhansa border, Chhatta Rail and Subhash Marg. Movement was also not allowed near the Red Fort. The Ghazipur border was closed for movement from both sides due to the protest and traffic was impacted on NH-9 and NH-24. “Commuters moving to and from Uttar Pradesh can use DND, Vikas Marg, Signature Bridge, Wazirabad road etc. Traffic on NH-24 and NH-9 has been diverted to Road Number 56 to take Maharajpur border, Apsara border and Bhopura borders for U.P.,” they said in a statement in the morning.
Parag Jain, a chartered accountant working in a firm in Gurugram, said it took him nearly three hours to reach office where his attendance was mandatory on Monday. “The Delhi police had installed barricades at many points due to which I reached office in almost three hours. This is by far my worst experience ever while travelling to office,” he said.
The protests also led to massive traffic snarls on the Delhi-Gurugram Expressway with the Delhi police erecting barricades to check the vehicles entering the national capital. The police allowed only two lanes for vehicles to pass through the barricades, causing bumper-to-bumper traffic extending for several hundred metres in the Millennium City. Several motorists took to Twitter to post the pictures of the snarl and expressed their anger and helplessness. While some described it as “insane”, others said “it was the mother of all traffic jams”.
The Gurugram police said the traffic jam was caused due to the barricades placed by the Delhi police. There were no traffic-related updates on the Gurugram police’s Twitter handle. The traffic situation improved in the afternoon after the police removed the barricades and the Bharat Bandh drew to a close.
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