Traffic went haywire on national capital roads on Tuesday as the tractor parade taken out by farmers spilled into many parts of the city and reached Central Delhi’s ITO and Red Fort areas despite police raising barricades and checkpoints at multiple places.
Wielding sticks and clubs and holding the tricolour and union flags, tens of thousands of farmers atop tractors broke barriers, clashed with police and entered Delhi from various points to lay siege to the Red Fort and climb the flagpole on Republic Day.
The traffic on the city roads, though thin due to the Republic Day holiday, was thrown completely out of gear with hordes of protesting farmers deviating from the pre-designed rally routes and driving their tractors towards Delhi from Singhu, Tikri, Ghazipur and other border points.
With police and farmers involved in clashes at many places, some parts of the city were cut off with Traffic Police regulating movement of vehicles in view of presence of farmers at places such as ITO, Red Fort, Nangloi, Anand Vihar, Mukarba Chowk and Akshardham.
The Delhi Traffic Police took to Twitter to update commuters about situation developing on roads in different parts of the city.
“Traffic is very heavy on GTK road, Outer Ring Road, Badli road, KN Katzu Marg, Madhuban Chowk, Kanjhawala Road, Palla Road, Narela & DSIDC Narela roads. Please avoid these roads. Traffic is very heavy on Wazirabad road, ISBT road, GT road, Pushta road, Vikas marg, NH-24, Road no. 57, Noida link road. Please avoid these roads,” it tweeted in the afternoon hours.
The Delhi Police had given permission to farmers protesting against the three farm laws to hold their tractor parade on selected routes only after the official Republic Day parade on the Rajpath concluded.
By the evening hours, traffic was affected from Punjabi Bagh underpass to Zakhira, Peeragarhi to Punjabi Bagh, Raja Garden Flyover to Dhaula Kuan, as the tractors descended on the capital, according to the Traffic Police.
However, Vikas Marg, that was earlier closed with farmers reaching to ITO from where they moved to Red Fort, opened in the evening for traffic movement.
The traffic was very heavy on Wazirabad road, ISBT road, GT road, Pushta road, Vikas marg, NH-24, Road no. 57, Noida link road in the evening with farmers moving across on their tractors.
The GT Karnal Road, Outer Ring Road, Badli Road, KN Katzu Marg, Madhuban chowk, Kanjhawala road, Palla road, Narela & DSIDC Narela roads to witnessed heavy traffic with police requesting commuters to avoid these stretches.
Traffic movement was closed from Yudhistir Bridge to Seelam Pur and vehicles were diverted from Geeta Colony and Signature Bridge, due to the rally.
With farmers reaching many parts of Delhi, the main thoroughfares like Shankar Road, Talkatora Road and Minto Road were also closed by the police.