Traffic between Ghaziabad and Delhi doubles despite restrictionsUpdated: May 28, 2020 23:46 IST
Ghaziabad: Though traffic snarls at UP-Gate, at which the Ghaziabad-Delhi border falls, have eased in the past two days due to easing of restrictions, the flow of vehicles plying between Delhi and Ghaziabad has doubled.
The nationwide lockdown, imposed from March 25 to curb the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) disease, had brought vehicular movement to a halt. Later, as officials put curbs on movement between Ghaziabad and Delhi, drivers and passengers were made to undergo checks before they could pass through.
In a decision taken earlier on April 20, the district magistrate under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act had prohibited any travel between Ghaziabad and Delhi except for those involved in essential services or having valid passes.
The officials said that the latest direction of restriction on the border was under lockdown 4.0 guidelines issued by the Uttar Pradesh government on May 18.
Under the May 18 directions of chief secretary RK Tiwari, commuters from Delhi, other than those from hot spot areas, were allowed to travel to NCR areas of Noida and Ghaziabad and the district administration was asked to issue detailed directions in this regard.
Checking process of vehicles was ending up in traffic snarls at the border. However, after a May 26 order, which allowed for vehicles with passes to move, the jams have eased as cops have resorted to only random checks instead of checking every single vehicle passing through, said commuters.
According to police officials, there is movement of roughly about 10,000 vehicles everyday at the border, which is more than double the number of vehicles, about 4,000, passing through the area when the earlier restrictions were imposed.
“The traffic situation has eased and there are no long jams which were witnessed upto May 26. Back then, the police were checking each and every vehicle, which resulted in snarls. Now, there is random checking of vehicles which has resulted in lesser stoppage of vehicles at the border. The barricades are, however, still there,” said Kuldeep Saxena, an Indirapuram resident who works with the electricity department in Delhi.
“Presently, there is a waiting time of about 5 to 10 minutes during the morning and evening rush hours, which is manageable,” he added.
“At present, there are about 10,000 vehicles which are estimated to be passing through the UP-Gate border to Delhi. There is a spike in the number of vehicles as markets and offices in Delhi have opened up. Now, people know that they have to get passes issued for travelling to Delhi. There are checks at four points at the border during peak hours while checking at only two points is taken up during afternoon hours as there is very less traffic,” said Manish Mishra, superintendent of police (city).
“The increase in the number of vehicles could also be due to the fact that the district magistrate’s order had given exemption to certain categories of commuters who can pass through on the basis of their identification cards,” he added.
The vehicles involved in essential supplies are allowed to move without any restrictions.
According to official records of the Ghaziabad administration, at least 16,102 passes were issued in April up to May 26 to those who wished to travel to any district in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
“About 4,000 manual passes have been issued so far for people who have to go outside UP jurisdiction. About 80% of these are those who applied to travel to Delhi. During the initial days of the lockdown, we received about 800-900 applications daily for travel and only about 5-10% were given approval,” said MS Garbyal, additional district magistrate and the nodal officer for passes.
“Since there have been more relaxations under lockdown 4.0, we have about 900-1,000 applications coming in and about 60% of these are approved. So, the number of valid commuters from Ghaziabad has also increased,” said MS Garbyal, additional district magistrate and the nodal officer for passes.