The Jat agitation has affected life in the National Capital Region as over 125 trains were cancelled and traffic on major highways connecting cities such as Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida with the rest of the country was blocked in Haryana.
The situation may worsen as Jat leaders of western Uttar Pradesh are set to meet on Saturday to decide on the future course of the agitation.
Government officials in Delhi said the agitation could impact the supply of essential products in the coming days, leading to escalation in the prices of vegetables and fruits. Most of the highways that bring food products from the north and western parts of India into Delhi pass through Haryana.
Anil Malhotra, member of the Azadpur Mandi Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC), said, “Vegetables, fruits and other essentials like milk come on a daily basis to the mandis from outside the city. Nothing is hoarded. If anything comes from Rajasthan, it has to come through Gurgaon. If the highways are blocked by protesters and all these trucks get stuck on the way, it will be difficult to get things for even 50 times more than the current price.”
Pradeep Singhal, national president of the All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA), agreed with Malhotra. “We didn’t expect the protests to last for more than a day. It seems to be aggravating. Over 30,000 trucks come to Delhi every day and of these, 5,000 bring in food and other essential commodities,” Singhal said.
Protesters blocked traffic at eight prominent roads in Gurgaon, throwing traffic out of gear.
“We will intensify the stir if the government does not give any firm assurance. We will block NH-8 and disrupt rail traffic between Gurgaon and New Delhi,” a member of the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti said.