SEZ protest leads to huge jams
“I covered 14-km distance between my home and workplace in two hours. I believe that the highways should be spared from political movements and demonstrations,” said Sudhir Bajaj, a resident of Vasant Kunj in south Delhi. Bajaj works as a senior executive with an MNC in DLF Cybercity.
He was not alone in his suffering due to the massive traffic jam that followed the Gurgaon police barricading the Delhi-border toll plaza. The police were preventing protestors from marching towards the SEZ belonging to Reliance.
Commuters were stranded in miles-long traffic jams on Gurgaon Expressway on Friday morning. The ordeal continued for about four hours when Gurgaon-bound motorists were caught in the jam spanned between the toll plaza and Palam crossing.
Police had to resort to lathicharge to disperse the protestors and the farmers who had gathered in large number at the toll plaza. The police also arrested Haryana Janhit Congress leader Kuldeep Bishnoi and his supporters.
Bajaj said, “I also saw the toll collection agents charging toll in cash from non-tag users in the tag lanes when there was a mile-long queue of vehicles waiting at the toll plaza. At least they could have left the lane open without charging toll in the larger interest of the motorists stranded in jams.”
The officials of the expressway concessionaire company DS Constructions said that at 7.30 a.m. the Haryana police closed all tag and cash lanes leading to Gurgaon on the Gurgaon Expressway.
“The police had sealed all entry and exit routes to the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway. The police closed all tag and cash lanes on the Expressway on the South side of the plaza so that the demonstrators could not cross the border. However, traffic coming from Gurgaon into Delhi was flowing smoothly all along as the lanes were open,” the DSC officials said.
The Expressway was opened only at 11.00 a.m. and normal flow of traffic could be restored only about