Traffic respite as highway on Chilla border reopened
Farmers protesting at the Chila border, which connects Delhi and Noida, on Sunday cleared the highway they had occupied for 12 days, allowing police to restore traffic between the two cities.
The carriageway, which, goes to Delhi from Noida through the Chila border, had been shut since December 1 by farmer groups from Uttar Pradesh, and was opened early on Sunday, owing to “problems caused to commuters”, according to farmer’s union leaders.
However, they said a group of farmers has stayed back and began an indefinite hunger strike as part of their agitations against the three contentious farm bills.
Meanwhile, only one carriageway stayed open for traffic on the Delhi-Meerut expressway in Ghazipur, while seven other borders — Singhu, Tikri, Auchandi, Jharoda, Piao Maniyari, and Mangesh in the outer and south-western parts of the city — were shut entirely.
Satish Tomar, in-charge of the IT cell of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Bhanu), said “Police and senior officers requested us to clear the road... Our leaders took a decision, and keeping in mind the problems caused to the commuters and locals, we have cleared both the roads. We, along with police personnel, together removed the barricades and reopened the road.”
Tomar said 15-20 farmers, led by their state president, have stayed back for the hunger strike.
Farmers have continued to occupy a lane near the central verge at the Gautam Buddha Dwar, on the Delhi-Noida border, slowing traffic moving towards Delhi from Noida.
Deputy commissioner of police (east) Jasmeet Singh said, “While traffic moving from Delhi to Noida is smooth as usual, incoming traffic is slow as the farmers continue to block a portion of the road. Sufficient security personnel have been deployed at the border to maintain law and order,” Singh said.
At the Ghazipur border, traffic on the Delhi-Meerut expressway carriageway connecting Delhi to Ghaziabad remained unhindered, while the other continued to be completely blocked. The service lane on NH-24 that has been blocked since November 27, also remained closed for traffic on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Delhi traffic police continued to issue traffic advisories on its social media accounts.
In one of its tweets early Sunday morning, after the Chila birder was opened, police said, “The Gazipur borders is closed for traffic from Noida & Gaziabad to Delhi due to farmers protests.People are advised to take alternate route for coming to Delhi via chilla, Anad Vihar, DND, Apsara & bhopra borders.”
In another tweet, advising commuters to take the diverted routes to avoid snarls, police said, “Available open borders to Haryana are the following -- Jharoda (only single carriageway), Daurala, Kapashera, Badusarai, Rajokri NH 8, Bijwasan/Bajghera, Palam Vihar and Dundahera borders.”