Farmers' huts removed from UP Gate but Delhi-Ghaziabad traffic still affected
The farmers protesting at Uttar Pradesh border said they have cleared the UP Gate protest site, but Hindustan Times' sister publication Livehindustan reported on Saturday that people coming to the national capital from Ghaziabad are still facing traffic snarls and delays. The reason for this is the police barricades, which have still not been removed from the service lanes.
The commuters have to take detours, which are often longer and witness traffic jams, according to the Livehindustan report. UP Gate still has three-tier barricades and some huts of the farmers, which is affecting traffic movement at the border.
Due to the close proximity of the Delhi-NCR region, several people from Noida and Ghaziabad travel to the national capital. Earlier, the journey from Delhi to Noida used to take hardly 20 minutes. However, due to the farmers' protest, the journey now takes hours.
On Thursday, protesting farmers dismantled a temporary structure at the UP Gate underpass after the Supreme Court said that farmers have the right to protest but roads cannot be blocked indefinitely. Leaders of the farmer Unions clarified that the temporary structure was dismantled to show the barricades put up the police are blocking the highway. The structure, which is an old tent, was used as an area to address the press and for holding farmer meetings.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait, who has been spearheading the farmers' agitation, also said that the farmers have not blocked the highway and traffic is being affected because of the police barricade.
"The protesters have removed their tents but barricades have been put by the government and the Delhi Police which are still there. The road is otherwise open. If you see, there are only barricades which have been put by the police," Tikait told reporters on Thursday.
On October 4, the Ghaziabad Police had closed the UP gate as a precautionary measure in the aftermath of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident in Uttar Pradesh. Movement of traffic on the Delhi-Ghaziabad carriageway was stopped and barricades were put up on the Delhi Meerut Expressway to maintain law and order, the police added.