Following mediation between Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors and protesters at Shaheen Bagh, road number 9, a one-way route connecting Noida with Kalindi Kunj, was opened in the evening of day 70 of the protest. This would allow one-way traffic from the Shaheen Bagh-Jamia Nagar locality and Ashram towards Noida through the Kalindi Kunj bridge. Police, however, added that this would solve only a small part of the traffic problem — though it’s a start.
Sadhana Ramachandran and Sanjay Hegde have been appointed by the top court to find a resolution to the issue. On Friday, Ramachandran had told protesters: “We know there are alternate roads that can be used. But you also said the canopy covers one side of the road. Then why can’t we tell the police to remove barricades from the other side?”
On Saturday, DCP (South East) R P Meena said, “Around 4 pm, road number 9 going to Kalindi Kunj was opened. A group of protesters was against it, so it was closed for a while, but opened again around 5 pm. One can go to Noida and Faridabad using this.” “The Mithapur road was never barricaded and remains open, while the Mahamaya flyover continues to be barricaded by UP Police,” Meena added.
The road runs parallel to the Yamuna and goes up north to Jamia Nagar, Okhla Vihar Metro station, Batla House and Jamia Millia Islamia on Okhla road. It also runs through the Kalindi Kunj Metro station to Noida through Kalindi Kunj bridge, and used to be taken by residents of Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Nagar colonies on a daily basis before the protest started.
A police officer stationed at the now opened barricades in front of Kalindi Kunj Park said, “This does not solve even 1 per cent of the traffic problem. The main traffic is still blocked.” Another police officer said the road opening “would mostly benefit locals”.
Residents of the area attested to this. T Ahmed (42) an entrepreneur who lives in Shaheen Bagh, said, “This road is used mostly by the local community; it serves as an exit for Shaheen Bagh.”
Many of the travellers passing through the opened route on Saturday said they were visiting Shaheen Bagh or were residents of the area. Momin Khan (38) said, “I visit my friend at Shaheen Bagh regularly; now I’m returning to Noida. Earlier I would take the Okhla route.” Rahil Malik (20), a resident of Jaitapur Khadar, said he too was returning home from the protest.
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