Traffic hit as Kalindi Kunj is briefly shut to stop farmers from Noida entering Delhi
Wednesday saw attempts by farmers to block another border point to Delhi -- the Kalindi Kunj border that connects Noida with south Delhi -- even as the Singhu and Tikri borders remained completely blocked to traffic for the sixth consecutive day.
The police, however, managed to convince farmers at the Chilla border (also between Delhi and Noida) to clear one carriageway for traffic by Wednesday afternoon. This borer point had remained shut since Tuesday.
With all the closures and standoffs, traffic and commuting between NCR cities were a nightmare of humongous proportions on Wednesday.
The Kalandi Kunj border -- connecting Noida with south Delhi -- had to be briefly shut on Wednesday evening after about a 100 farmers on tractors arrived there from Noida and tried to enter Delhi. The police quickly placed iron barricades and deployed extra personnel to prevent more such attempts.
The sudden closure of the Kalandi Kunj border, that too during the evening rush hour, caused heavy jams on both carriageways. The problem was compounded as the Chilla border had remained shut since Tuesday evening and motorists had not alternative but to choose the Kalindi Kunj route. But, by 4.30pm even that was not an option.
Kalindi Kunj remained closed only briefly but by then, the tailbacks were long. When the border was reopened, police started stringent checking, which made matter worse as the vehicle queues got longer.
While RP Meena, deputy commissioner of police (south-east), said the road was blocked for only five minutes and the farmers were convinced to return to Noida by then, the Delhi traffic police’s Twitter account took over an hour to update that the road was reopened.
“We initially closed only the carriageway from Noida to Delhi. But then people started driving on the wrong side, and that caused a jam, so we closed the other carriageway as well. The border was opened and traffic restored after the farmers returned to Noida,” Meena said.
As far as the Chilla border was concerned, motorists had a harrowing time till Wednesday afternoon since both carriageways between Noida and Akshardham were closed. Police had opened alternative routes, but even those were congested due to the diverted traffic volume.
Around 2pm, the Delhi to Noida carriageway on Chilla border was opened after senior police officers met farmers and apprised them about the jams and the inconvenience to people.
“The police officers told us that ambulances as well as private vehicles carrying patients were stuck in jams. Although it was the police who had blocked it, and not us, we shifted ourselves to the carriageway from Noida to Delhi on the instructions of the police. We are here for a peaceful protest and not to cause problems to the public,” said Bhanu Pratap Singh, national president of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU).
The traffic situation at the Ghazipur-Ghaziabad border, on the other hand, remain the same as over the past few days -- the traffic flow was normal on the elevated Delhi-Meerut expressway and one carriageway going towards Ghaziabad from Delhi.
The Singhu and Tikri borders remained out of bounds to motorists for the sixth consecutive day. After a few hundred farmers managed to sneak into Delhi through internal roads near the Singhu border, the police on Tuesday confined them to a segregated area at the Singhu crossing.
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