Noida farmers march in support of new bills, traffic comes to a halt at Greater Noida Expressway
Noida: Hundreds of local farmers from Dadri and Jewar on their way to Delhi to show their support for the three new farm laws on Monday afternoon were stopped near Mahamaya flyover, causing traffic to stall at the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway.
A group of over 250 farmers was on its way to the Noida-Delhi border when it was stopped by the police. Barricades were put up in the area and traffic was diverted internally towards the Kalindi Kunj route.
“We had prior input about their movement so we diverted traffic from the Charkha cut. There was congestion on the expressway from around 2pm till 3.30 pm. But it was cleared steadily. We were constantly sharing updates with the public via social media. The delay was due to traffic spread over four lanes being constricted to two lanes because of the diversion,” said Ganesh Saha, deputy commissioner of police, traffic.
A senior police official said that the group had blocked off the main roads after they were stopped from proceeding towards Delhi.
“More than a kilometre-long stretch of the expressway remained congested for over two hours. The farmers handed over their memorandum once they were stopped, after which they dispersed. But the group said that they will return soon. Traffic was affected but there was no law and order situation,” said the official, requesting to remain anonymous.
Meanwhile, status quo was maintained at the Chilla border where farmers protesting the new laws are camped, blocking traffic from Noida to Delhi. Traffic in the area continues to be re-routed via the Delhi-Noida-Direct (DND) flyway.
Farmer leaders have urged the authorities not to stop their supporters from reaching Delhi.
“With tomorrow being farmers’ day, our local representatives will hand over our memorandum of demands to officials. We are requesting authorities to not stop our people from reaching us in solidarity and until our demands are met, we will continue to protest,” said Yogesh Pratap Singh, state president, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU)-Bhanu.
Members of BKU’s Lok shakti faction are also camped at the Dalit Prerna Sthal since December 2 and are being steadily joined by farmers from various districts in Uttar Pradesh.
The Chilla border first closed on December 1 and opened on December 13, only to be closed again on December 16 after farmers alleged that their supporters were being illegally detained and harassed.