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Ghaziabad: Restrictions to ease from today but Delhi border to remain closed

PUBLISHED ON MAY 31, 2020 11:06 PM IST

Ghaziabad: After the Uttar Pradesh government issued guidelines for removing lockdown restrictions from June 1, the Ghaziabad district administration said Sunday the relaxations will be fully implemented. Ghaziabad, however, will not be opening any of its borders with Delhi.

The state government had earlier in the day issued a set of guidelines, “Unlock 1.0”, for removing restrictions but specifically stated that the local administrations of Gautam Budh Nagar and Ghaziabad districts will roll out their own directions in line with public interest.

The guidelines from Lucknow came a day after the Union ministry of home affairs issued details of a three-phased plan which aimed at lifting stringent lockdown restrictions which were in place since March 25. The MHA’s plan also removes restrictions on inter-state and intra-state travel but Ghaziabad on Sunday decided against opening its borders with Delhi over concerns of rise in the number of coronavirus (Covid-19) infections.

The district shares its borders with Delhi at UP-Gate, Kaushambi-Anand Vihar, Seemapuri and Loni areas.

“We have decided to adopt all guidelines issued by the UP state government but have decided against opening our borders with Delhi till further instructions. Entry at the borders will be restricted in line with the earlier directions issued by the district administration. Apart from that, all guidelines issued by the UP government will be put in place from June 1,” said Ajay Shankar Pandey, district magistrate.

Travel restrictions at the border have been in place since April 20 when the district magistrate had issued orders prohibiting travel, other than for essential and emergency services, between Ghaziabad and Delhi. The officials had attributed the decision to the rising number of Covid-19 cases due to cross border travel.

Renewed directions were issued on May 25 citing the same reasons and specific categories of commuters were allowed on the basis of their identification cards or valid passes/authorisation letters.

“In areas of the national Capital region like Noida and Ghaziabad, the local administration along with police and health officials, will issue directions keeping in mind public interest. Whatever restrictions are to be put in place, including issuance of passes, etc., will be decided by the local administration,” said Awanish Awasthi, UP’s additional chief secretary (home).

In its guidelines issued Sunday, Lucknow stated that all industrial activities can open up but only those outside containment zones, that too with precautions.

“All industrial activities have been directed to start. If there are night shifts then there should be proper arrangement of buses, etc. All district magistrates have been directed to hold discussions with traders’ associations and chalk out plans to open up markets. All markets will open from 9am to 9pm and this has been planned so that there is no large gathering at any one point of time,” Awasthi added.

Till May 31, shops in the 34 different markets in Ghaziabad were allowed to open on alternate days from 10am to 5pm. Fruit and vegetable markets are also allowed to open for retailing from 8am to 8pm. The same will now be allowed to open only till 2pm from Monday.

“We have devided that earlier directions about opening of markets will be in place till further orders,” the Ghaziabad district magistrate said.

“There will still be restrictions on opening of weekly markets in urban areas. Street vendors can open up but only in open areas. Saloons and beauty parlours, etc., will be allowed to open but will be directed to maintain social distancing and use of face masks, one-time use of cloth and towel, and preferably use disposable items,” Awasthi said.

He added that taxis, cabs, three-wheelers, autos and e-rickshaws will be allowed to ply but with defined seating capacity.

“Only two persons are allowed on two-wheelers but both should be wearing helmets and masks. The UP State Road Transport Corporation buses, stage-carriages, contract buses and city buses will resume operations within the state as per seating capacity. If they don’t follow norms, action will be taken up under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles’ Act as well as the Disaster Management Act,” Awasthi added.

Officials said that parks will also be allowed to open from 5am to 8am and 5pm to 8pm each day while sports complexes and stadiums will open without spectators.

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