In a major relief for commuters bound for the national capital from Punjab, Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday ordered the removal of barricades at the Shambhu border within one week after five months of the "unlawful sealing" to prevent protesting farmers from entering Haryana.

The Shambhu border between Punjab and Haryana has been closed for public transport.

"Endeavour should be made by both the states (Punjab and Haryana) that the Shambhu border is restored to its original," observed the division bench of Justice G.S. Sandhawalia and Justice Vikas Bahl orally during the hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in February by Uday Pratap Singh.

The bench also asked both the state governments to ensure that law and order was maintained and to coordinate with each other to remove the barricades.

The direction comes amid increasing concerns over the disruption of traffic and its impact on daily commuters and the transportation of goods.

Supreme Court of India
Supreme courtIANS

Earlier, the Bench had directed both the states to submit detailed affidavits on the ongoing blockade of the highways at the Shambhu border.

Haryana's Additional Advocate General Deepak Sabharwal said 400-450 protesters are still sitting on Punjab's side at the highway and they may enter Ambala and do gherao of the Superintendent of Police's office.

At this, Justice Sandhawalia orally observed, "We are living in a democracy, farmers cannot be stopped from entering Haryana...let them do the gherao."

The Bench said the national highway was closed due to preventive measures by the Haryana government and five to six months have gone by since then.

"The diversion which has been made is causing great inconvenience...there is no free flow of transport vehicles and buses, thus the general public is in great inconvenience," it observed.

With inputs from IANS