New Delhi, Oct 27 (UNI) Thousands of people from across the country, displaced from their land due to industrial projects or denied access to traditional sources of livelihood, are on a marathon protest march to Delhi to air their grievances.
In an unprecedented campaign for restoring land to the dispossessed, nearly 25,000 people, including adivasis and Dalits from 18 states, are on a 325-km padyatra from Gwalior to Delhi under the banner of Janadesh 2007, to press for the rights of tribals and Dalits over jal, jungle and zameen (water, forests and land).
The march, which began from Gwalior on October 3, is all set to reach here tomorrow. It has been organised by the Ekta Parishad, a grassroot organisation which has been working in many parts of India for the past 30 years to ensure poor people access to livelihood resources, Chief among the demands of the non-violent campaigners is that the government establish a National Land Commission to formulate land policies, provide direction to state governments, and monitor progress on land distribution and entitlement by state governments; ensure that the national land policy takes into account the needs of the poor and set up fast-track courts to settle past and future conflicts related to land quickly and effectively.
Among those participating in the padyatra are 11,000 people from Madhya Pradesh as well as people from Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Also among the campaigners are hundreds of women.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Traffic Police has made several arrangements to ensure smooth movement of traffic in Delhi tomorrow when the Janadesh Yatra enters the city. The traffic restrictions have also been effected in view of the third Vodafone Delhi Half marathon being held in the city tomorrow.
Accordingly, motorists have been advised to avoid roads like Vinay Marg, Africa Avenua, Aurobindo Marg, Prithviraj Road, Man Singh Road, Akbar Road, Rajpath, Janpath and Ashok Road between 0630 hrs and 1200 hrs.
The traffic Police will also carry out many diversions along the above routes. For the convenience of commuters, the Delhi Traffic Police will make available a 'Park and Ride' shuttle bus service from Bhikaji Cama Place near Jindal and the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
All officials and examinees of the UPSC Civil Services Examination 2007, scheduled for tomorrow, have been advised to start well in time to reach their destination.