January 25, 2021 12:36:29 am
The unions’ call to farmers for maximum participation in the January 26 Tractor Parade has led to an “over mobilisation” of the farm vehicles, which was “not sustainable”, the Haryana Police on Sunday said.
Thousands of tractors have been moving on Haryana’s highways since Friday as a large number of farmers from Punjab too are on their way to Delhi’s border points to take part in the tractor parade.
A senior officer of Haryana Police told The Indian Express: “The tractors which were already at Delhi borders were enough for the tractor parade. Even then, a major mobilisation has been done by the farm outfits. In Punjab, they have given a call that no tractor should be left out and all should move to Delhi. There is a large-scale movement of tractors from Haryana too even as there is no space for so many tractors at Delhi borders.”
In fact, the officer said, “there is an over mobilisation” for the tractor march. “It is not sustainable. Even from the logistical angle, how would they (farmer leaders) manage such a crowd? It’s an uncertain situation. The police explained to the farmer leaders on Saturday that the tractors gathered by them were enough to cover 280-km stretch from Delhi to Jaipur,” added the officer who has been tasked with keeping a close eye on the developments.
The officer, who did not wish to be identified, expected movement of around 10,000 tractors to Delhi from Haryana while the security agencies have estimated that a total of 50,000 tractors will reach Delhi from the state and neighbouring Punjab. “A large number of tractors from Jind, Kaithal, Ambala and Kurukshetra districts are moving to Delhi. The farmers started moving to Delhi from Friday itself because everybody wants to be in the front. We feel that all the tractors, which are moving to Delhi, won’t be able to enter the national capital because of the long jam on roads… It is easier to gather the crowd, but difficult to manage the same. There are chances of accidents too because of fog,” the officer added.
Explaining why they were apprehensive of the numbers and the union leaders’ crowd management skills, the officer said, “It is like when rains take place, even the roads of Chandigarh are filled with water despite better arrangement of drainage in the city. There is a concept of ratio of capacity and volume. If the volume is three times than the capacity, a jam is bound to happen.”
However, the officer added that the union leaders have assured the police that the “tractor parade” will be peaceful and those taking part in it will return soon after.
Meanwhile, in a communication to the Haryana government on Sunday, Sonipat deputy commissioner Shyam Lal Poonia said, “A jam like situation on each road leading to national capital can’t be denied after large turnout of tractors during the tractor parade.”
Cops issue travel advisory
In view of the security and traffic arrangements for Republic Day and the proposed tractor parade of farmers, authorities in some of Haryana districts close to the national capital issued advisories against unnecessary travel towards Delhi over the next couple of days.
The advisory said commuters will face traffic disruptions on national highway between Karnal to Delhi and Rohtak to Delhi. Traffic on KMP-KGP Expressway will also be impacted and interchanges at Kundli, Assaudha and Badli will not be accessible for traffic movement for three days.
In Sonipat, Deputy Commissioner Shyam Lal Poonia said commuters have been advised to use routes suggested by the local police in case travel towards Delhi was unavoidable.
Sonipat SP Jashandeep Singh Randhwa advised the commuters not to use KGP (Kundli-Ghaziabad-Palwal) and KMP expressways on Tuesday. According to the police, heavy vehicles coming from Jammu Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Chandigarh via National Highway-44 should take Karnal-Shamli or Panipat-Sanoli road to move to Ghaziabad and Noida and other places of Uttar Pradesh. The light vehicles may go to Delhi or Gurgaon taking the routes like Ganaur to Nahar or from Murthal to Sonipat, Agarsen Chowk, Maharana Pratap Chowk, ITI Chowk and Kharkhoda. Apart from this, the vehicles may also move to Delhi via Bahalgarh to Baghpat, Khekra and Loni Border. To move to Sonipat-Delhi, the commuters in light vehicles may take the road Safiyaad- Ochandi Border- Lampur – Dahesara.
Sonipat’s civil surgeon was directed to ensure adequate availability of “bike ambulances” over the next few days so that these could reach those in need faster. He was also directed to set up temporary medical camps, an official said. Poonia asked the police department to strengthen security measures in the district.
In an advisory, Panipat Police too appealed to commuters to avoid travel to Delhi on January 25-26 or use routes suggested by local authorities if travel was unavoidable.
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