Blockade of Haryana highways hits supplies to Delhi
The blockade of National Highway (NH) 1 and NH10, the two main links between Haryana and Delhi, at Singhu and Tikri borders for the past two days, has hit supplies of essential commodities, especially vegetables, fruits and milk to the Capital.
As Delhi gets most of its milk and vegetables from Haryana, the situation is likely to get worse in the coming days if the farmers’ agitation continues. This will also affect the connectivity of northern states to the national capital.
Hundreds of vehicles, carrying essential items, are stuck in the jams on the borders and have been unable to reach Delhi.
“Vehicles are parked on both sides of the road, stretching out for nearly three kilometres,” says Naresh Kumar, a truck driver from Himachal Pradesh. His truck, loaded with apples, has been stranded near the Kundli border for the past two days.
Delhi’s largest wholesale fruit and vegetable market, Azadpur mandi, has also been impacted by the blockade.
“On Friday, we received 2,800 tonnes of fruits instead of regular supplies of 5,500 tonnes; and 5,600 tonnes of vegetables instead of regular supplies of 6,500 tonnes,” said Adil Ahmad Khan, chairman, Azadpur Agriculture Produce Market Committee, while interacting with the media in Delhi.
Now most people are travelling on link roads and expressways from Rai in Sonepat district to reach Delhi, but police officials say that people traveling on the expressway are also encountering long traffic jams and it may turn worse in the coming days as farmers from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have also started their movement to join their counterparts from Punjab and Haryana.
“After waiting for two days in Chandigarh, we have to reach Delhi by traveling about 100km extra via Mathura road,” said Vikash Verma of Delhi, who had gone to Amritsar along with his family.
Meanwhile, at Ambala, things are yet to return to normal as police blocked two borders at Shambhu (Ambala-Patiala) and Sadopur (Ambala-Chandigarh) on Thursday and Friday. Trucks remained lined up on both sides of NH-44.
Several migrant groups from Ludhiana were also forced to cross over to Ambala to catch trains and private buses from the Cantonment.
HT had spoken to a family of 10 members, including four children, who remained stranded at the border after missing a train for Lucknow.
An elderly woman from Ambala who was crossing the border from Patiala on Thursday, said, “They don’t care what people like us have to face.”
The borders, however, were opened for farmers and commuters.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Haryana IGP Traffic Rajshree Singh said that there is no blockade on NH44 from Ambala to Rai. But now there reports of traffic jams near Rai of Sonepat and cops have been deputed to monitor the situation.