Free The Roads Now, Why roads blocked in Farmer’s Protest: SC Asks Centre.

The 2020-2021 Indian Farmer’s protest is an ongoing protest against three farm acts which were passed by the Parliament of India in September 2020. The acts often called ‘The Farm Bills’ have been described as “Anti-farmers laws” by many farmer unions and politicians from the opposition party, they also say that these farm laws will leave the farmers at the “mercy of the corporates”.

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the center and two state governments over roads in the national capital region that remain blocked by farmer groups protesting the three farm laws and said “you (the center and the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana) have to find a solution” while also recognizing the farmers’ right to protest.

Protests started at a small stage in Punjab in August 2020 when the farm bills were made public. More farmers and farm Unions across India joined the protest against the bills and organized a “Bharat Bandh” on 25th September 2020. However, the protest took a major turn when the farmers started occupying highway toll plazas allowing the vehicles to pass.

They took over a number of borders, including the Kundli Border, Dhansa Border, Jharoda Kalan Border, Tikri Border, Singhu Border, Kalindi Kunj Border, Chilla Border, Bahadurgarh Border, and Faridabad Border. On 29 November, the protesters announced that they would block five further points of entry into Delhi, namely Ghaziabad-Hapur, Rohtak, Sonipat, Jaipur, and Mathura.

The residents of the border villages started facing problems in commuting from their place the resident to their place of work and faced huge traffic jams. On January 28 the residents protested against the farmer's unions to vacate the roads as it affected their commute.

However, the Supreme Court on Monday asked the government to find a solution to end the road blockades regarding the ongoing farmer’s protest, which are causing inconvenience to the public. A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy said that roads can not be blocked for a long period causing disruptions and there should be a free flow of traffic. A solution has been asked by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in consultation with the Uttarpradesh and Haryana Governments. The Bench adjourned the hearing for September 20 and asked the Centre to try and solve the problem.

The Supreme Court Bench said “The solution lies in the hands of the Union of India and State Governments.

They should coordinate with each other during protests.”

The bench considered several petitions filed by the common people who are facing difficulties in their commute. A Noida-based woman filed a complaint that it has been taking her almost 2 hours instead of 20 minutes to travel from Noida to Delhi due to frequent blockades and protests.

Petitioner Monika Agarwaal, who works in an IT firm stated in her complaint that she needs to commute between Delhi and Noida for work but the travel time has almost doubled and has caused inconvenience to her.

Her plea added that it was difficult for her, a single mother with medical issues to spend this amount of time traveling. The bench asked Mehta, “ You have to find a solution, they might have the right to a place to agitate but the roads cannot be blocked like this.”
The Union Government and Delhi Police stated that efforts were underway to make the farmers understand the “grossly illegal act of blocking roads” but most of the farmers protesting are aged farmers.

However “Diversions have been created to allow for smooth movement of traffic between Ghaziabad and Delhi via the Maharajpur and Hindon roads” as all the major borders have been blocked by protestors.

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