Bandobast to stop farmers march chokes capital roads

  • | Friday | 9th February, 2024

n Massive traffic jams were witnessed on the Delhi-Noida borders on Thursday due to farmers protest as police put up pickets and barricades on the border areas. This comes three years after their historic protest on Delhi borders as farmers are gearing up for another round of agitation in the national Capital over a host of issues. The protest march also slowed down movement of vehicular traffic at various routes, including the key stretches of Noida-Greater Noida Expressway and DND Flyway that thousands of commuters use daily. The farmers protest led to the traffic jams in several roads connecting east and north east Delhi on Thursday including Ghazipur, Anand Vihar, Surya Nagar, Chilla, Bopura, Wazirabad and Kalindi Kunj. Similar snarls were witnessed at Pari Chowk in Greater Noida, with the police saying that they were making efforts to ensure smooth traffic movement. Motorists spent hours in the crawling traffic as the police personnel with heavy equipment were on alert to restrict movement on the road at the Delhi-Noida borders near Mayur Vihar, as the farmers tried to enter the national capital. Ahead of the protest demonstration by the farmers in Noida and Greater Noida, the Gautam Buddh Nagar Police had already imposed CrPC section 144 for Wednesday and Thursday. At the border, heavy duty bulldozers, backhoe machines, Vikraant logistic vehicles, riot control vehicles and water cannons were parked strategically to meet any eventuality in case farmers reached there. Riot control vehicles are on the spot and drones are being used to get an all-round view. The police have barricaded the Noida expressway road using trucks and cranes near Dalit Prerna Sthal and blocked two out of three lanes. They are allowing vehicles from only one lane towards Mayur Vihar. Thousands of villagers, including women and elderly, joined the march, to press for their demands for hiked compensation and developed plots in lieu of their land acquired by local development authorities in Noida and Greater Noida in the past. Farmers in Noida and Greater Noida have been protesting since December 2023 with demands for hiked compensation, and developed plots against their land acquired by the local development authorities in the past. Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait joined the protestors in Greater Noida in the afternoon where his Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) members have been protesting outside the local authority office. In Noida, the protestors are led by the Bharatiya Kisan Parishad (BKP), whose activists have held camps outside the local authority office since December 2023. The farmers led by the BKP assembled at the Mahamaya Flyover in Noida at 12.30 pm on Thursday, with a proposed plan to march towards the Parliament. From Mahamaya Flyover, the farmers shall march towards the Parliament in Delhi to press for our long-pending demands, BKP leader Sukhbir Yadav Khalifa said. The farmers from around 100 villages were led by the BKP after they assembled at the Mahamaya Flyover in Noida around 12 pm on Thursday, with a proposed plan to march towards the Parliament.  From Mahamaya Flyover, the farmers shall march towards the Parliament in Delhi to press for our long-pending demands, BKP leader Sukhbir Yadav Khalifa said earlier in the day. Later, a scuffle broke out between several villagers and security personnel as they tried to detain local farmer leaders, including the BKP leader, near the Dalit Prerna Sthal. According to the Delhi Traffic Police, heavy traffic is also expected on the routes connected to Sonia Vihar, Sabhapur, Apsara and Loni borders. Commuters have been asked to avoid or plan their journey accordingly. A senior Delhi Police officer at the border said that traffic was allowed but, if needed, the road will be blocked completely. As of now, the Uttar Pradesh Police is dealing with them and hopefully they will not enter Delhi, he said. Long queues of vehicles choked the roads as several two-wheelers and four-wheelers were stuck in the jam at Sarita Vihar, officials said. I am headed to Agra and cannot change route now because this is the only way which will take me to the highway. Its not clear how much time it will take as the traffic is very slow, said motorist Raj Sharma. A heavy traffic jam was reported on the Delhi-Noida highway as well, officials said. Meanwhile, security has been stepped up in the national capital, especially on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, in view of the protests by farmers, officials added. Around 150 farmers have been stopped near the Mahamaya flyover in Noida by the Uttar Pradesh Police, officials said. Alternative traffic arrangements have been made and commuters were advised to avoid certain roads. Heavy security arrangements have been made in different border entry points in the national capital. No one will be allowed to breach law and order, a senior police officer said. Another police officer said that heavy security forces have already been deployed along with paramilitary forces to maintain law and order. Pickets and barricades were installed on the border areas connecting Delhi-Haryana and Delhi-Uttar Pradesh, he added. According to the Delhi Traffic Police, heavy traffic is expected on the routes connected to Soniya Vihar, DND, Chilla, Ghazipur, Sabhapur, Apsara and Loni borders on Thursday. Commuters have been asked to avoid or plan their journey accordingly. Ahead of the protests in Noida and Greater Noida, the Gautam Buddh Nagar Police has imposed Section 144 on Wednesday and Thursday. Police also issued a traffic advisory, cautioning commuters against diversions on some routes in the twin cities in view of the farmers movement on tractors. Farmer groups in Noida and Greater Noida have been protesting since December 2023, with demands for greater compensation and developed plots against their lands acquired by the local development authorities in the past.

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