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Bharat bandh: Transport, essential supplies may be hit in Delhi

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
December 08, 2020 01:05 IST
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Transport services and supplies of essentials like vegetables and fruits are likely to be affected in the national capital during the 'Bharat Bandh' called by farmers on Tuesday, even as Delhi Police warned of strict action against those trying to disrupt movement of people or 'forcefully' shut shops in the city.

 

IMAGE: Farmers display victory sign during their agitation against the Centers new farm laws, at Singhu border in New Delhi, on Monday. Photograph: Shahbaz Khan/PTI Photo

Some taxi and cab unions, including those associated with app-based aggregators, have decided to join the strike called by farmers organisations demanding repeal of three new farm sector laws.

Farmer leaders on Monday appealed to their affiliates to not force anyone to observe the shutdown.

Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said that the 'bandh' will be observed from 11 am to 3 pm and emergency services like ambulance and others will be allowed.

"We will also allow wedding functions. People going to attend such functions can easily be recognised by their attire and invitation card. We will not disturb their movement during 'Bharat Bandh'," Tikait told PTI.

Farmers leaders said that 'chakka jam' will be done from 11 am to 3 pm on Tuesday.

In Delhi, the work at major wholesale vegetable and fruit markets is likely to be hampered with a section of traders favouring the farmers' demands.

"I have received calls from several traders' associations for strike on Tuesday. I believe the mandis at Ghazipur, Okhla and Narela will also be closed due to the 'Bharat Bandh' called by farmers," Adil Khan, chairman of Azadapur Mandi, said.

Khan said he has appealed to people from all walks of life to support the farmers who feed the country.

Chairman of Ghazipur wholesale mandi for vegetables, fruits and poultry and meat said many traders' association in the market have said they will join the strike.

Some auto and taxi unions in the city have also decided to join the 'Bharat bandh' on Tuesday.

Kamaljeet Gill, president of Sarvodaya Driver Association of Delhi, comprising mainly drivers working with cab aggregators, said drivers will not run their cabs associated with Ola, Uber and other app-based aggregators on the day.

President of Delhi Taxi Tourist Transporters' Association Sanjay Samrat, in a statement, said several unions, including Delhi State Taxi Cooperative Society and Kaumi Ekta Welfare Association, will join the strike.

However, many other auto and taxi unions have decided to continue normal services despite their support to the demands of the agitating farmers.

Rajender Soni, general secretary of Delhi Auto Rickshaw Sangh, and the Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union said 'important' auto, taxi and last-mile vehicle driver unions will not join the strike.

Chandu Chaurasia, vice president of Capital Driver Welfare Association, said the demands of farmers need to be met by the government but it should not be achieved by causing inconvenience to ordinary people.

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and All India Transport Welfare Association (AITWA), in a joint statement, said trade and transport sector will function normally despite the 'Bharat bandh' call.

'No farmer body has contacted us or sought our support with regard to the 'Bharat bandh'. So trade and transport service will continue normally in Delhi and other parts of the country,' the statement said.

In view of the shutdown call, Delhi Police said that elaborate security arrangements have been made and warned that strict action will be taken against those trying to disrupt movement of people or 'forcefully' shut shops.

Eish Singhal, Delhi Police (PRO), said adequate arrangements have been made by the Delhi Police to ensure normal movement of people on roads during the 'Bharat Bandh' on Tuesday.

"Delhi Police has also issued a traffic advisory for smooth movement of vehicles and commuters. Anybody who tries to disrupt normal movement, life or forcefully closes shops will be strongly dealt with, as per the law," he said.

Delhi Police has also appealed to everyone to not disrupt life of common citizens and residents of Delhi.

Taking to Twitter, the Delhi Traffic Police on Monday said Singhu, Auchandi, Piao Maniyari, Mangesh, Tikri and Jharoda borders are closed.

'The National Highway-44 has also been closed on both sides. So those travelling are suggested to take alternative routes via Lampur, Safiabad and Saboli borders. Traffic has also been diverted from Mukarba and GTK road,' it said.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at several border points of Delhi against the new farm laws.

The Centre's offer to amend the contentious laws failed to cut ice with farmer groups during the fifth round of talks on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visited the Singhu border, where thousands of farmers are protesting against the Centre's new farm laws, and reviewed arrangements made for them by the city government.

On the bandh called by farmers on Tuesday, the chief minister said, "AAP will participate in the nationwide strike. I hope the whole country joins it peacefully and I appeal to them to join and support the farmers".

Farmers have threatened to intensify their agitation and block more roads leading to the national capital if the government did not accept their demand.

Talks between the government and protesting farmer unions so far have been futile and the sixth round of discussions is scheduled to be held on Wednesday.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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