Faridabad closes border to Delhi, Gurugram likely to follow suit
Gurugram’s chief coordinator for Covid-19 activities, VS Kundu, said that the Delhi-Gurugram borders are also likely to be sealed by Friday and the passes for inter-state movement had been put on hold.Updated: Apr 30, 2020 04:12 IST
Faridabad sealed the five entry (and exit) points from (to) Delhi on Wednesday, prohibiting the entry of all commuters, including essential workers, until May 3, while Gurugram is likely to follow suit, as Haryana sought to insulate itself from the wave of coronavirus disease cases in the capital.
Gurugram’s chief coordinator for Covid-19 activities, VS Kundu, said that the Delhi-Gurugram borders are also likely to be sealed by Friday and the passes for inter-state movement had been put on hold. “Maybe from Thursday night or Friday morning, (Gurugram) borders will be sealed,” said Kundu, adding that a notification from the state government is awaited for the same.
People who entered Delhi from Faridabad on Wednesday were informed that they would not be allowed to return. At least 5,000 police personnel were deployed across Faridabad to ensure the orders were complied with. Ambulances and vehicles ferrying essential items are exempt from the order, said officials.
On Tuesday night, Faridabad deputy commissioner (DC), Yashpal Yadav, imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC in the district, in view of the Covid-19 outbreak. Doctors, paramedical staff, police personnel and bank employees were allowed to move, after showing their IDs, but only until noon on Wednesday.
“Those working in Delhi will have to make arrangements to live near their workplaces and will not be allowed to move in and out of the district,” Yadav explained.
The DC’s order stated, “The district has tightened restrictions over the movement of government employees and regular people from other states and districts as the number of cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) rose in the district after people travelled to Faridabad and the virus was spread.”
However, there is no bar on movement between Faridabad and the adjoining districts of Palwal and Gurugram, albeit, with requisite permissions.
Barricades were set up at all traffic junctions and residential areas of Faridabad. The police deployed 5,000 personnel at 103 checkpoints and at least 35 each at nine locations that border Delhi, Palwal and Gurugram.
KK Rao, the commissioner of police, Faridabad, said: “The recent Covid-19 cases are of those who had visited Delhi. So we are taking precautionary measures to ensure that the infection does not spread. For newspapers, the vehicles will be allowed to deliver the paper till the border and the distributors can pick them up from the borders.”
So far, 50positive cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in Faridabad. Haryana has a total of 311 and Delhi,3,439.
Panic-stricken residents criticised the order and called it ”insensitive” .
Sanjeev Khurana, who owns a factory in Faridabad and resides in Sector 63, and travels frequently to Delhi to get raw materials, said that staying with acquaintances and friends in Delhi is not an option, as there is apprehension over the virus . “After this new order, we are stuck. What if the lockdown does not lift for another month? How will our families manage here? The officials are not ready to understand the circumstances that if we do not attend office, we might end up losing our jobs,” he said.
Yadav said that vehicles transporting essential items and ambulances will be allowed to enter the district. “The movement passes issued by the district administration and police will be recognised but anyone found violating the rules and regulations will be penalised under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” he said.
Factories in Faridabad which reopened on April 20, can make arrangements for their workers to stay on the factory premises or elsewhere within the city, said Yadav.
Sanjeev Khemka, director, KCL Limited, which has a factory in Sector 24, said his company has “arranged rooms and food” for some workers and that others are locals. .
However, a few factory owners said supervising staff, who live in Delhi, won’t be able to make it to work.
Meanwhile, the Gurugram administration said that the borders with Delhi were not sealed, but that it has increased surveillance at all interstate and interdistrict borders.
Amit Khatri, DC, Gurugram, said, “The borders connecting Delhi will not be sealed. We will monitor the situation and changes will be made after the cases are under control. Unregulated movement at the Gurugram-Delhi borders will not be allowed. We will strictly enforce a restriction on vehicular movement to prevent infection from spreading. The effort is to increase the screening in the cross movement.”
At the Sirhaul border on Wednesday morning, traffic congestion and long queues were witnessed due to the checks.
Mohammad Akil, the commissioner of police, Gurugram, said his teams are checking each vehicle entering in the city. “All the vehicles carrying vegetables and essential items will also be checked to ensure no smuggling of illicit liquor and illicit drugs,” he said.
Haryana home affairs minister Anil Vij on Tuesday said that at least 15 people who tested positive for the coronavirus disease in Haryana recently, contracted the disease in Delhi. Vij said that his government has asked the Delhi government to provide accommodation to Haryana residents who work in the Capital so that they are not required to travel back into the state.