Firm on their demands, farmers brave cold, rains as talks with Govt remain deadlocked
New Delhi: Camping at Delhi borders for over a month now, protesting farmers seem undeterred in the face of severe cold, rains and waterlogging, and firm on their demands for repeal of farm laws and legal backing for MSP even as talks with the government remained inconclusive.
On Monday, the seventh round of talks were held to resolve the deadlock. The unions stuck to their demand for a complete repeal of the new farm laws they find pro-corporate, while the government wanted to discuss only “problematic” clauses or other alternatives. The two sides will meet again on January 8.
Speaking to reporters after the meet, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said he expected positive talks and a possible resolution in the next meeting, but asserted that “efforts need to be made from both sides for a solution”.
The protesting farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been at the border points of the national capital for almost 40 days now, braving the bone-chilling cold weather in the region.
Sporadic rains have also lashed the city in the last couple of days, following which the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) arranged makeshift elevated beds in a tent provided by the organisation at the demonstration site near Singhu border. The tent, located right beyond the main stage at the site, is pitched on the lower end of the highway, making it susceptible to waterlogging.
Since the farmers arrived at the national capital’s borders in late November, the Delhi Traffic Police has been posting alerts on its official Twitter handle to inform commuters about road closures across the city.
In a series of tweets on Tuesday, the traffic police said Singhu, Auchandi, Piau Maniyari, Saboli and Mangesh borders are closed for traffic movement.
“Please take alternate route via Lampur Safiabad, Palla & Singhu school toll tax borders. Traffic has been diverted from Mukarba & GTK road. Please avoid Outer Ring Road, GTK Road & NH-44,” it said.
“The Chilla and Ghazipur borders are closed for traffic coming from Noida & Ghaziabad to Delhi because of farmer protests. Please take alternate route for coming to Delhi via Anand Vihar, DND, Bhopra & Loni Borders,” it added. The traffic police said Tikri and Dhansa borders are also closed for traffic movement.
“Jhatikara Border is open only for LMV (Cars/Light Motor Vehicles), two wheelers and pedestrian movement,” it said in another tweet.
According to the traffic police, people travelling to Haryana can take the routes via Jharoda (only single carriageway), Daurala, Kapashera, Badusarai, Rajokri NH-8, Bijwasan/Bajghera, Palam Vihar and Dundahera borders.