NCR commuters heave sigh of relief as farmers end stir

NCR commuters heave sigh of relief as farmers end protests

Residents, mainly from Noida and Noida Extension, were hit as they could not access the Delhi-Meerut Expressway

A file photo of the farmers' protest. Credit: PTI Photo

With farmers set to vacate protest sites at Delhi's borders, commuters will heave a huge sigh of relief as roads that have been closed for over a year will reopen, ending their traffic woes.

After farmers agitating against the Centre's now-repealed farm laws occupied the three border points, Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur, in November last year, those travelling from Delhi to Ghaziabad, Noida and parts of Haryana and vice versa had a tough time due to road closures and traffic diversions.

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of 40 farm unions, on Thursday decided to suspend the movement against the farm laws and announced that farmers will return home on December 11 from the protest sites at Delhi's borders.

The announcement came after the SKM, which is spearheading the movement, received a Central government-signed letter of its agreement to farmers' pending demands, including the withdrawal of cases against protesters and constitution of a committee on minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

Also Read — Farmers finally end year-long agitation, to vacate protest sites by December 11

"After the government's announcement of the repeal of the three farm laws, I had thought that the farmers would end their protest but they continued it. Their announcement today will bring a huge relief to many commuters like me who have been facing severe issues," said Suman Rathore, who travels frequently from Delhi to Rewari in Haryana.

Neeti Rastogi, a resident of Noida Extension, who travels to Lutyens' Delhi daily for work, said, "I used to take the Delhi-Meerut Expressway to reach my office before the protests began. After the protesters occupied the border, I started taking the Metro to reach my office, which meant a longer commuting time, more hassle and the fear of contracting coronavirus."

Viplav Tripathi, also a regular commuter to Delhi from Noida, takes his car to office every day. Due to road closures, his commuting time was extended by 45 minutes. "Using the Noida-Meerut Expressway, I can reach my office in an hour but passing through Noida and the early morning traffic meant a longer commute to my office," he said.

Commuters said the traffic police issued advisories suggesting alternative routes whenever farmers had any events planned and that further added to their difficulties.

Farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, started protesting at Delhi's border points on November 26 last year against the three farm laws.

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