The demand for a high court bench in Gautam Budh Nagar gained momentum on Saturday with residents and members of various organisations in the district holding a protest and forcing open the toll barriers on the Delhi-Noida-Direct (DND) Flyway for more than two hours.
The protesters kept the barriers open from 11.30am to 1.45pm, allowing thousands of vehicles free passage on the access controlled highway. A heavy police force was present at the toll plaza at the time of the protest.
“The protesters kept tolls open for two hours and, during that period, nearly 9,000 vehicles crossed the plaza without paying a toll. On May 2, diesel taxi drivers had forced open the boom barriers for 20 minutes. More than six times, the boom barriers have been forced open for one reason or the other,” said spokesperson from Noida Toll Bridge Company Limited (NTBCL), which manages the DND Flyway.
The protest, in which more than 400 people took part, was led by the district bar association.
“We want a high court bench in this district. We have written to the Centre, the UP government and the Supreme Court. We have been demanding a high court for three decades. Allahabad high court is nearly 650km from this district. It is difficult for residents of western UP to travel to Allahabad for each court matter,” said Parmendra Bhati, president of Bar Association.
The lawyers have formed Paschimi Uttar Pradesh High Court Bench Sangharsh Samiti (PUPHCBSS) in order to give a shape to their demands.
Colonel (retd) UB Singh, an activist, said, “A bench here would expedite the judicial process and will help clear the backlog, besides bringing permanent relief to lakhs of people of western UP.”
PUPHCBSS had appealed to city residents and members of all city-based non-government organisations and associations to gather at the toll to make the protest successful.
“We wish the state and Centre take a strong decision and set up a high court bench in Gautam Budh Nagar for the convenience of the people,” said Dhirendra Singh, spokesperson UP Congress Committee.
Paschimi UP Nirman Morcha, Maulik Bharat, Dalit Mahasabha, Bar Associations of Meerut and Muzaffarnagar and various residents’ welfare associations of Noida and Greater Noida participated in the protest.