Traffic movement on NH 24 came to a standstill this morning, affecting hundreds of commuters on the highway.
Despite Jat protests being called off on the night of March 19, Delhi police did not remove most of the barricades. They continued inspecting vehicles at all Delhi borders such as UP Gate, Bhopura and Maharajpur. The police's decision to scan cars, and public and private buses, was taken as a precautionary measure to avoid hassles in the ongoing parliament session.
Traffic came to grinding halt on NH 24 for more than three hours during peak office time, especially that coming from the Shipra underpass, Kala Patthar Road, the CISF intersection, Noida Sector 62 and Khoda Cut. There was heavy congestion as vehicles could not get past the heavy barricading at the UP Gate exit towards Delhi.
"I live in Gaur Green Vista, located right on NH 24. A service road links the highway to the main gate of my society," said Lokesh Parashar, a commuter who was headed to his workplace in Delhi. "I was stuck for almost two hours in traffic, and reaching the highway from the service road took me more than 45 minutes."
Priya Kalra, a resident of Indirapuram, had to go through a similar ordeal. She took the Shipra underpass exit towards NH 24 and had to wait for nearly an hour and a half before she could cross the UP Gate exit towards Delhi. "The traffic was just not moving and I was late for work," said Kalra. "I can understand traffic jam yesterday, but why is the police troubling commuters today when the protest has been called off? Do they have any respect for our time?" she asked.
NH 24, being an arterial highway, witnesses traffic from Ghaziabad, Hapur, Meerut, Govindpuram and some areas in Uttar Pradesh. Any hindrance to traffic flow on this highway affects a vast cross-section of commuters.
"We have deployed personnel from RAF, CISF, the police department and the traffic police from both UP and Delhi," said Omvir Singh Bishnoi, DCP, Delhi Police. "The heavy deployment is to keep an eye on approaching vehicles and commuters. We are particularly checking people. We are also stopping most private and public buses. We will keep the barricading up till tonight."
"Traffic from three lanes has been restricted to a single lane for ease of checking — and that has aggravated problems," added a CISF personnel.
However, vehicular movement has been steady since 11.30 am and the police have also gone easy on the checking.