Traffic crawls at Delhi borders with Haryana as police intensify checks
Traffic crawled in many parts of Delhi on Friday after Delhi Police closed several border points with Haryana in view of the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march by farmers who are protesting the farm bills.
The Tikri, Dhansa and Jharoda Kalan borders that connect Haryana were closed for traffic movement due to the demonstration and commuters were asked to take alternative routes, Delhi traffic police said. Vehicles were also diverted from Mukarba Chowk and GT Karnal Road.
Taj Hassan, special CP (traffic), said the traffic situation was chaotic on highways passing through the Singhu Border and Tikri Borders. “These two are main arterial roads, so the traffic was bound to be badly impacted,” Hassan said.
In contrast, border routes connecting Delhi and UP were less affected. “Since there is checking at all border points, traffic movement has been slow in those places,” said Hassan.
The officer said motorists could still enter Haryana through the Rajokri, Mahipalpur and Auchandi borders route or the Eastern Express Peripheral Highway towards Kundli.
Even on borders opened for motorists, there was heavy deployment of police, which were checking each vehicle before allowing entry. This exercise slowed down traffic at the borders and adjoining arterial roads, with vehicles lining up at checkpoints.
Even within the city limits, police check points were set up around Dhaula Kuan, Peeragarhi, Punjabi Bagh and Vasant Vihar.
While the closure of the Singhu and Tikri borders heavily impacted motorists, it were poor labourers who suffered the most as they walked long distances in the absence of any public transport.
“We were travelling from Panipat to Delhi for work and had to walk nearly 30 kilometers,” said Santosh Singh, a labourer who crossed the barricades at the Singhu Border on foot with a group of other men and women.
At the Sirhaul border, Gururgam and Delhi police eased checking to prevent traffic congestion after a traffic snarl of more than two kilometres was reported from both sides of the expressway.
Traffic congestions were also reported from the borders connecting Gurgram from Kapashera, Aya Nagar and Mandi in the morning.
Astha Modi, deputy commissioner of police (headquarters), said, “There was a jam at the border on both sides on Friday morning after which we spoke to Delhi Police and decided to remove the barricades.
Nishant Kapoor, a daily commuter to Gurugram, said, “Police should have checked only suspected people. They were checking the identity of all commuters due to which traffic piled up on the stretch.”
Another daily commuter to Delhi, said the traffic situation at the Sirhaul border is an everyday affair and for the last three years, the situation has almost remained the same. “Even if there is no fresh development, the stretch witnesses congestion, barricading or no-barricading,” said Ankita Singh.
The police said they had deployed 928 personnel at 123 checkpoints across the city connecting nearby districts with the state and Delhi.
In Noida, many farmers in the district going to Delhi were stopped by Greater Noida Police at the Eastern Peripheral Expressway on Friday afternoon as the national capital had closed its borders to protesters. “We were stopped near Sirsa village where police had set up barricades on both sides to keep us from going forward and forcing us to set up camp there itself,” said Sunil Pradhan, media coordinator, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU).
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