During the Kanwar Yatra 2023, loud music-filled night marches disrupt normal life in East Delhi and Noida. Alarming

Night marches with loud music interrupt daily life in East Delhi and Noida during the Kanwar Yatra.

Residents in east Delhi and the NCR cities of Noida and Ghaziabad are raising concerns about the annual Kanwar Yatra, citing loud music and rampant traffic violations during the pilgrimage. They feel that the authorities have been ineffective in addressing these issues, causing frustration among the affected communities.

One of the main grievances voiced by residents is the blaring of loud music late into the night by Kanwariyas, devotees who undertake the Kanwar Yatra. Many societies along NH24 and Mayur Vihar have reported disturbances caused by the lack of penalties or strict measures against those playing music at high volumes. The incessant noise disrupts the peace of the community, making it difficult for students to study and for people to get a good night’s sleep. Residents argue that if a similar level of noise came from a wedding or a party, the hosts would face immediate penalties.

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On the other hand, organisers of the Kanwar camps contend that the loud music serves a purpose in helping the devotees alleviate their physical discomfort. The Kanwariyas, who walk hundreds of kilometres to offer their prayers, claim that the music helps ease their pain. Siddhartha Rajpurohit, one of the organisers, defends the practice, asserting that the devotees have no intention to harm anyone and that the music is a vital aspect of their spiritual journey.

Amidst the growing discontent among residents, the authorities’ response has been a matter of concern. Some residents accused the Delhi Police of refraining from imposing restrictions or taking action against the violations due to the religious nature of the Kanwar Yatra. This perceived inaction has exacerbated tensions between the affected communities and the authorities.

In response to the situation, the Delhi Traffic Police issued a traffic alert due to the Kanwar Yatra. This step was taken to ensure the safety of both the pilgrims and the general public. However, it remains unclear whether this traffic alert will effectively address the concerns raised by residents regarding traffic violations and congestion in the border areas during the Kanwar season.

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The conflicting viewpoints and the lack of a satisfactory resolution have created a challenging situation for all stakeholders involved. The residents seek a balance between religious sentiments and the well-being of the local communities. They believe that authorities should enforce regulations to curb the noise pollution and traffic violations associated with the Kanwar Yatra. Conversely, the Kanwar camp organisers advocate for understanding and tolerance, emphasising the religious significance and the transformative experience that the pilgrimage holds for the devotees.

To find a middle ground and address the concerns of both sides, constructive dialogue and collaboration between residents, Kanwar camp organisers, and the authorities are crucial. Such discussions could focus on establishing designated routes for the yatra, implementing regulations to control noise pollution, and ensuring that traffic violations are appropriately addressed. By promoting open communication and fostering mutual understanding, a solution that respects religious sentiments while also addressing the grievances of the affected communities can be sought.

Ultimately, finding a resolution that balances the rights and needs of all parties involved is essential. It is crucial to uphold the principles of religious freedom while also safeguarding the well-being and tranquilly of the local communities. Through collaborative efforts and a commitment to constructive dialogue, a mutually agreeable solution can be achieved, promoting harmony and coexistence among all residents of east Delhi and the NCR cities of Noida and Ghaziabad.

Residents in the border areas have raised concerns about rampant traffic violations during the Kanwar season. Kalindi Kunj, in particular, experiences heavy traffic during this time, which is further exacerbated by the influx of Kanwars. While there is a separate lane designated for the Kanwars, some individuals tend to enter it, resulting in aggressive behaviour.

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A senior Delhi Police officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, revealed that the police departments of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Uttarakhand have been instructed to monitor and address these violations during their coordination meetings.

However, imposing strict restrictions during the Kanwar Yatra could potentially lead to a backlash given the religious nature of the event, according to the officer.
In response to the anticipated traffic congestion during the Kanwar Yatra, the Delhi Traffic Police issued a traffic alert. The alert specifically highlighted that traffic would be heavy at locations such as Kalindi Kunj Red Light and Jasola Vihar due to the movement restrictions imposed by the UP Police.

Residents in Noida and nearby areas have expressed their concerns about the situation. Shubham Singh, a resident of Noida, emphasised the existing heavy traffic at Kalindi Kunj, which only intensifies during the Kanwar season. Singh pointed out that while there is a separate lane designated for the Kanwars, individuals who enter it often face aggression from others.

To address these issues, the police departments of UP, Uttarakhand, and Delhi need to collaborate effectively and devise strategies to manage traffic flow during the Kanwar Yatra. Ensuring the safety of both Kanwars and other commuters is paramount, while also respecting the religious sentiments associated with the event.

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Efforts should be made to educate the public about the designated lanes for Kanwars and discourage individuals from entering them if they are not participating in the Yatra. Additionally, strict enforcement of traffic rules and regulations is necessary to maintain order and prevent traffic violations.

By promoting awareness, facilitating coordination among the police departments, and implementing appropriate traffic management strategies, it is possible to mitigate traffic issues and ensure a safer Kanwar Yatra experience for all residents and participants.

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