Though the Jat community has called off its agitation in Delhi, life in the national capital remains under constant threat of being thrown out of gear. The protest was called off on Sunday afternoon after the Haryana government spoke to the community’s leaders and assured them that the process to give them reservations would begin soon. But the Jats have warned that they would return to the roads if the government does not keep its word. These are the five reasons why Delhi is vulnerable to a siege.
1. Too many entry points: Though Delhi shares its borders with just Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, there are over 20 major entry points into the city and a lot more other smaller entries. Merely preventing entry into the city at these border points is a herculean task for the police force.
2. Delhi is not just Delhi: Keeping a tab on the developments within the borders of the national capital is not enough. Since Delhi practically includes Noida, Ghazaiabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad under the larger umbrella of the National Capital Region, disrupting life even in these four cities affects the national capital. To seal off Delhi, you have to essentially seal of two other states.
3. Police strength not enough: Despite the Delhi Police having more than 85,000 personnel, barely 30,000 are available to guard the city even when it is under threat. The city has to rely on support from paramilitary forces from outside in an emergency. For the Jat agitation, which was called off, the police had requested for 110 companies of paramilitary forces.
4. Delhi depends on other states for essential supplies: Be it vegetables, fruits, milk or water, Delhi is dependent on other states for its essential supplies. During the Jat agitation in February 2016, the city suffered when the water supply was disrupted after the protesters vandalised the Munak Canal in Haryana’s Sonepat. Jats during their agitation at Jantar Mantar earlier this month had threatened to cut off the city’s supply of vegetable and milk if their demands were not met.
5. Delhi serves as a transit point: The national capital serves as a transit point for many motorists plying across states. Unlike Mumbai, which is the final destination of vehicles from outside by virtue of its geography, Delhi is used as a thoroughfare. More than 5.7 lakh outside vehicles enter Delhi everyday, a large number of them using Delhi as transit point. So, it is not practically possible to stop outside vehicles from entering the city and hence keep a tab on people entering Delhi.