In Delhi, markets remained open and business activities were largely unaffected, though massive traffic snarls were witnessed in border areas due to road blockades by protesters.
The pan-India observed by the farmers protesting against the Centre’s farm laws hit normal life in Punjab and Haryana where farmers blocked highways and squatted on railway tracks at many places. The shutdown was almost complete in the state, with transport services suspended during the bandh period, while shops and other commercial establishments remained shut at most places.
National and state highways in several districts, including Amritsar, Rupnagar, Jalandhar, Pathankot, Sangrur, Mohali, Ludhiana, Ferozepur, Bathinda, were blocked by the protesters. In neighbouring Haryana, the protesters blocked highways in Sirsa, Fatehabad, Kurukshetra, Panipat, Hisar, Charkhi Dadri, Karnal, Kaithal, Rohtak, Jhajjar and Panchkula districts.
The protesting farmers also squatted on railway tracks at many places in the two states. Ferozepur’s Divisional Railway Manager Seema Sharma told PTI that some passenger trains were cancelled while some other services were rescheduled.
With the protesters squatting on railway tracks, she said as far as possible, the railway authorities try to halt the trains at a station so that the stranded passengers get some facilities. Farmers squatted on railway tracks at many places in the two states, including at Shahbad near Kurukshetra, Sonipat, Bahadurgarh, Charkhi Dadri, Jind, Amritsar, Patiala, Barnala and Lalru near Derabassi.
About 25 trains, including Delhi-Amritsar Shan-e-Punjab, New Delhi-Moga Express, Old Delhi-Pathankot Express, Vande Bharat Express from New Delhi to Katra, and Amritsar Shatabdi, were affected due to the Bharat Bandh, officials said.
Hundreds of farmers blocked the Ambala-Delhi National Highway. They put barricades on the roads leading up to the Shambhu border near Ambala and squatted in the middle of the road. The traffic towards Delhi was diverted to alternative routes. A large number of trucks and other vehicles were stranded on both sides of the highway.
In Delhi, markets remained open and business activities were largely unaffected, though massive traffic snarls were witnessed in border areas due to road blockades by protesters and security checks by police.
The auto and taxi unions as well as several traders’ bodies extended only “in-principle support” to the Bharat Bandh and decided not to join the strike, saying their livelihood has already been hit hard due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
In Maharashtra, commercial establishments and local transport were operating as usual and normal life remained unaffected even as various non-BJP parties held demonstrations and bike rallies in parts of the state in support of the Bharat Bandh.
Similarly in Madhya Pradesh, the strike had no major impact in Madhya Pradesh on Monday as day-to-day and commercial activities went on as usual. Eyewitnesses said road traffic was normal in the state capital Bhopal and commercial hub Indore.