Gurugram lifts border curbs but Delhi remains cut off
The ministry on Saturday released details of the first of a three-phase plan--Unlock 1.0--for lifting stringent restrictions imposed over two months back to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. The plan removed restrictions on inter- and intra-state travel.Updated: Jun 04, 2020 04:19 IST
The Gurugram police on Wednesday removed barricades at 11 border crossing points to the national capital and said commuters can now travel between the two cities without any restrictions days after the Haryana government restricted cross-border travel citing rising Covid-19 cases.
Deputy commissioner Amit Khatri issued an order late on Tuesday directing the withdrawal of the restrictions “in view of MHA [ministry of home affairs] guidelines on reopening and unrestricted movement of persons and goods.”
The ministry on Saturday released details of the first of a three-phase plan--Unlock 1.0--for lifting stringent restrictions imposed over two months back to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. The plan removed restrictions on inter- and intra-state travel.
But even as the Gurugram police cleared the barricades and de-sealed the Delhi border on their side, Delhi Police officers said their personnel deployed at the borders with Gurugram continued checking motorists for movement passes before letting them in. Checks, however, were conducted only intermittently to avoid snarls and to prevent commuters from being inconvenienced, officers said.
“Those who did not have movement passes were stopped from entering Delhi. All essential service providers and government employees were let in after seeing their ID cards or movement passes. We did not stop the entry of vehicles carrying essential goods. No traffic jam was reported from any of our three borders — Aaya Nagar, Mandi toll border and Jheel Khurd,” said deputy commissioner of police (south) Atul Kumar Thakur.
Similar checks were done throughout the day at the Kapashera and Rajokri borders, connecting Gurugram to southwest Delhi.
The Gurugram police checked movement passes until 9.30 am on Wednesday, which led to congestion for nearly 20 minutes before they received orders to remove the barricades.
Gurugram police commissioner Muhammad Akil said the deployment of police personnel will continue at the border crossing points to control the traffic movement and congestion.
The personnel have been deployed in three shifts spanning eight hours each. Tents will remain intact at all the points for them. The Delhi police deployed at Rajokri and Kapashera border crossing points also allowed all commuters to cross the border without any checking.
The restrictions on cross-border movement were imposed on May 1 after several Covid-19 cases in Gurugram and Faridabad were traced to Delhi. The checking at the border was suspended during the rush hours due to traffic congestion before Haryana minister Anil Vij again directed police to seal the border citing rising Covid-19 cases mostly in Gurugram.
Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday said the restrictions should be lifted in accordance with MHA guidelines. But after the Delhi government announced on Monday that the Capital’s borders will be sealed for a week, the Gurugram administration on Tuesday said one of the crossing points will remain regulated as per previous orders. It said only pass-holders would be allowed to commute. Later on Tuesday evening, Khatri issued his order.
Rohit Agarwal, a software engineer, said he left his home in Delhi on Wednesday and planned to stay in Gurugram for a week. He added he was surprised to find no checking at the border. “The government agencies are confused. Every day they come up with a new plan. It is high time that commuters should be given clarity on the movement so that we can arrange accordingly.”
Another daily commuter working with a food aggregator company said even the police are confused and added they are unaware of any fresh orders. “There is no clarity from anyone on the border issue. It becomes difficult to cross if they suddenly start checking. I started from home after my colleagues informed me that there was no checking at any of the border [crossing points] but I am still not convinced as the police are unpredictable,” he said.