NOIDA: In an important breakthrough, the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) has decided to call off its protests on the DND Flyway scheduled for Friday. Arriving at a settlement with the state government and NHAI, senior BKU leaders have decided to just assemble at the city magistrate's office in Noida on Friday noon and meet the Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate and SSP as well as the toll plaza authorities without disrupting any traffic movement.
The farmers arrived at an agreement after senior farmer leaders, led by BKU general secretary Rakesh Tikait, met the district magistrate and SSP (Meerut) on Thursday. The Meerut DM and SSP forwarded chief minister Akhilesh Yadav's letter assuring farmers that all their grievances will soon be sorted out.
"In view of the agreement reached with the state, we have decided to call off our planned stir on the DND. We will not take over the DND Flyway on Friday and make no attempts to make travel toll free. We will simply meet the administration and toll authorities to discuss our issues with them," said Ajay Pal Sharma, senior BKU leader.
The Gautam Budh Nagar district administration, which had earlier decided to impose Section 144 of the CrPC prohibiting an assembly of more than five people in any area across the district, has decided to impose it only on Friday, December 7, "as a precautionary measure," said DM MKS Sundaram.
Sundaram has also sent a formal intimation to the Noida Toll Bridge Company Ltd of the agreement with the farmers and has asked them to visit the city magistrate's office at 12pm on Friday for the meeting with the farmers.
"The farmers have agreed to meet us and talk things out following their agreement in Meerut. The meeting has been scheduled for Friday noon. However, the administration will not let its guard down and will ensure that residents of Noida, commuters on the DND as well as the toll plaza staff are not affected in any way due to the farmers' meeting," Sundaram said.
The BKU farmers have also decided to meet chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on December 13. "The CM has assured us through the letter that all our grievances will be sorted out. The letter informs us that NHAI has withdrawn all the arbitration cases lodged against farmers after we took over various toll plazas and made travel toll free. The CM has also said that Rs 200 crore will be released within a week towards the pending compensation of farmers," said Rakesh Tikait.
"We have also asked the state authorities to review the existing toll collection policy valid across UP and investigate the scam in toll collection and its entry into the books at Dasna toll plaza," Tikait said.
BKU farmers had forced the DND authorities to roll back the toll hike on November 17 and had demanded that return of the toll collected between November 9 and 17, during which the hike was in force on the flyway.