New Delhi: Traffic crawled at a snail's pace at many places in the Delhi-National Capital Region on Tuesday as police placed multiple layers of barricades and stopped the movement of vehicles at the Singhu and Tikri borders to thwart the farmers' march to the city Commuters faced a harrowing time on the roads, battling massive traffic snarls with Delhi being put under a heavy security cover with personnel in anti-riot gear deployed strategically and metal and concrete barricades regulating access to several key roads.
There was severe traffic congestion in the Ghazipur border area as well due to heavy security arrangements made by police. Only two vehicles were allowed to pass at a time with barricades being lined up on half of the key stretch connecting Noida and Delhi.
Feeling helpless and desperate at being stuck at the Ghazipur border for hours, Uttarakhand resident Arun Singh said he was on his way to visit his ailing father at the Lok Nayak hospital in Delhi.
"I am travelling from Uttarakhand to meet my 78-year-old father... My family and I have been struck here since 11 am. It is an extremely frustrating situation for us and we feel angry and helpless," he told PTI.
Farmers demanding a law on minimum support price are marching towards Delhi after a meeting with a team of Union ministers over their demands remained inconclusive. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha said the farmers will head to Delhi to press the Centre to accept their demands.
In view of the 'Delhi Chalo' march, police have intensified security at the city's border points with multi-layer barricades, concrete blocks, iron nails and walls of containers.
Bumper-to-bumper traffic was seen at the Ghazipur, Singhu and Tikri borders from 7 in the morning. Later in the afternoon, traffic movement was stopped at Singhu and Tikri.
"I knew about the farmers' march scheduled for today and left for office an hour earlier from Gurugram's Sector 29. Seeing the traffic situation, it seems I will reach my office in central Delhi a couple of hours late," Julie Lawrance said, adding that she had been stuck in traffic for at least an hour.
A traffic police officer noted that over two lakh people travel between Delhi and Gurugram each day during working hours and advised commuters to use the Metro train services.
Security has been beefed up on the stretch of the Delhi-Noida flyover as well. Barricades deployed in the area have led to disruption in traffic movement, causing major delays to commuters.
"I am heading towards Gurgaon... Even though I started early... I'm still running late due to these security arrangements," Rajeev, a commuter, said.
Vehicles on the Delhi-Meerut expressway have also been moving at a very slow pace as the roads are blocked with barricades for two to three kilometres.
The service lanes are blocked using concrete barricades, barbed wire and trucks, hindering the usual traffic movement in the area.
Approximately 100 to 150 police personnel were deployed at the Ghazipur border service road.
As the Ghazipur border witnesses congestion and disruptions, a commuter, who identified himself as Adarsh, told PTI that he had been stuck for over an hour due to the roadblocks.
The affected roads in the region connect the city to Bareilly, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Mussoorie, Muradabad, and Nainital.
Another commuter, Kritika Sharma, said she had started for office at 6 am but even by 9 am, she was still stuck in a jam.
Both at Singhu and Tikri borders, there were long queues of vehicles due to the heavy barricading and police checking.
The highway has been shut for vehicles beyond the Singhu border and the traffic personnel are asking the commuters to either take a left turn or go back.
Some local people were also seen gathering around the Singhu border area to show solidarity with the protesting farmers. "This is a fight for the rights of the farmers," one of them said.