Delhi

Farmers set up pit stop in middle of NH-1 between Kundli, Singhu

Supply line: Protesters cut vegetables in preparation for dinner at the pit stop between Kundli and Singhu border on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

Nestled between Ashoka University and a popular roadside motel, farmers from Punjab and Haryana — participating in the protest at Delhi’s Singhu border — have created a kilometres-long pit stop in the middle of National Highway 1.

With the agitation for the repeal of three controversial agriculture laws gathering momentum and more farmers joining in every day since November 26, the biggest issue the pit stop solves for the protesting farmers is providing a space for the simultaneous parking and cleaning of an estimated 300 tractors and stocked trolleys.

Strategic location

The pit stop came up around the relatively large road divider around three weeks ago. It occupies several kilometres between the Kundli and Singhu border toll booths.

Space to freshen up before each trip to the protest site at Singhu border, access to bathrooms, and a massive motel that has several food stall are the other draws in addition to a strategic advantage: choking another pivotal access point to the National Capital Region at short notice, if required.

“We came from Ludhiana, a trip of over 300 km, but could not find space for our tractor. There are many like us who reached a little late and could not reach the (Singhu) border with vehicles, so we set up camp here. We sleep on separate mattresses but have to share multiple blankets because it is so cold and there is traffic on both sides,” said Chanraj Singh as vehicles whizzed past on either side of him.

“There are three langars operating – two by Punjabis and one by Haryanvis – but sometimes we feel like having dhaba food and go across the road where there are many restaurants. The owner of Golden Hut Punjabi Dhaba has opened the bathrooms there for us to bathe whenever we ask,” he added.

Chanraj’s elder brother Gurpreet, who also came to the site on his tractor, explaining the merits of the spot: “It is a relay point for farmers substituting for each other as well as for receiving supplies from home.”

“Those who come with the supplies either rest here for a bit before taking part in the protest and heading back or substituting for someone who has already taken part in the protest. Under no circumstances can the number of tractors and protesters at the agitation be allowed to dip,” he said.

Their friend, also named Gurpreet Singh, travelled to the Delhi border from Bhatinda. “The pit stop is located around 13 km from the spot where protesting farmers have erected a stage adjacent to the toll booth, heralding the territorial jurisdiction of the Capital. The pit stop can be utilised to enhance the blockade further,” he said.

“If our leaders ask us to, it will take us just a few minutes to block this route between Delhi and Haryana – mainly the Kundli area – with our tractors. We are used to climbing bigger obstacles than concrete road dividers while driving them,” he said.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 5:33:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/farmers-set-up-pit-stop-in-middle-of-nh-1-between-kundli-singhu/article33349945.ece

Next Story