Barricades, additional checks make traffic crawl in border areas
Commuters to and from Noida had to patiently wait for long, as traffic slowed to a trickle across border areas amid heightened police presence in light of farmers movement to Delhi on Thursday for a proposed rally.
Several farmer organizations had called for a ‘Delhi Chalo’ movement on November 26 and 27, prompting security and police personnel across Delhi-NCR to go on a high alert.
Barricades were set up by both Delhi and Noida police, with vehicles crossing the border checked thoroughly till late in the afternoon.
“The traffic movement was very slow today. It took me half an hour to cross the Chilla (Noida-Mayur Vihar) border. There were barricades set up on both Delhi and Noida side and there was a lot of policemen on the ground checking vehicles,” said Sadhna Gupta, a Noida resident, who was going to Mayur Vihar phase 3 for work around 11am.
Noida police said they had also deployed PAC forces at border areas of DND and Chilla.
“There wasn’t any major farmer movement in our district. However, we were on high alert and additional police force had been deployed at the border areas till evening as a precautionary measure. The traffic was slow due to vehicular checking, but there were no law and order concerns as such,” said deputy commissioner of police, zone 1, Rajesh S.
A group of nearly 30 farmers from the Bhartiya Kisan Union was stopped at Pari Chowk, while they were trying to get to Delhi.
“We assembled at the zero point and before we could start moving to Delhi, we were detained and taken to the DCP’s office. We were told that we will not be allowed to proceed and were asked to give a memorandum of our demands to the officials,” said Rajkumar Roopwas, tehsil president, BKU.
Police personnel said that the farmers were not booked.
“We did not permit the group to go to Delhi and police was on high alert during the day. We will also stay vigilant tomorrow,” said additional DCP, zone 3, Vishal Pandey.
In additional to the farmer movement, a nationwide general strike had also been called for on Thursday by trade unions. Banks in the district remained closed but there were no rallies or unlawful gatherings in the city.
“It was peaceful. A group of nearly 20-25 people came to the sector 6 office to hand over a memorandum of demands. But there were no protests or rallies leading to any law and order situation. There was extensive patrolling throughout the day and police teams remained on alert,” said Rajesh S.
In Ghaziabad, the police had made elaborate arrangement and there was heavy presence of personnel and administration officers at UP-Gate border with Delhi, where commuters faced traffic snarls from about 11am till the traffic situation eased back to normal around 2.30pm.
Commuters said that traffic police had allowed movement of vehicles through the Hindon river canal overbridge at NH-9, but no traffic was allowed to descend to the surface road below the UP-Gate area.
“Many commuters used the overbridge to move to Delhi and similar traffic snarls were witnessed on the other side of the border due to barricading by the Delhi traffic police. Below the UP-Gate flyover, the Ghaziabad traffic police had put up barricades for checks, which resulted in delay of about 25-30 minutes ,” said Kuldeep Saxena, resident of Shakti Khand, Indirapuram.
A group of about 25-30 farmers in the afternoon tried to move to UP Gate but were stopped by police at Mohan Nagar. The traffic police officials said that checking points were also setup on the Hindon elevated road to scan vehicles for movement of farmers.
“There was no movement of farmers at UP Gate and proper checks and barricading were put in place. No traffic was allowed to come down below the UPGate flyover where barricading was put up. So, it resulted in traffic snarls. But traffic was regularised by 2.30pm. There was no untoward incidents reported,” said Ramanand Kushwaha, superintendent of police (traffic).