Traffic chaos witnessed at Delhi-Noida borderUpdated: Mar 23, 2020 23:27 IST
Noida: Major traffic chaos was witnessed at Delhi-Noida border on Monday as authorities from both the cities enforced lockdown amid the rising Covid-19 cases in the national capital region.
A number of commuters gathered on both sides near the border seeking entry into Noida and Delhi. The police said that many commuters had no valid reasons for commuting during lockdown and they were asked to return, creating unnecessary traffic snarls.
Police personnel have set up barricades and started intense checking at all the entry and exit points. While the entry into Noida is manned by Noida police, the entry into Delhi is manned by their Delhi counterparts at all the points. While the UP government has announced a lockdown from March 23-25, the Delhi government will enforce it till March 31.
On Monday, traffic was badly hit at the DND Flyway and Mayur Vihar (Chilla regulator), which connect Delhi with Noida. The authorities had opened only two lanes – one for ambulance and second for other vehicles – on each side at the DND Flyway. Some commuters said that they got stuck for nearly an hour on the DND Flyway.
Sankalp Sharma, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), Noida, said that the teams were deployed on all Delhi-Noida borders since Sunday night. “The traffic restrictions have been placed as per the directions of the government. Only emergency and essential service vehicles are allowed during lockdown. We are checking the commuters’ identity cards and other documents, and then allowing their entry,” he said.
The police said that professionals working in the field of medicine, pathology, power, disaster management, post office, petrol pumps, e-commerce, and media, among others, are allowed after checking.
Some people were seen arguing with the police personnel over the issue, which led to long queues. Some media persons also alleged that the police had restricted their entry in the morning. “I told them that I am a journalist, but I was stopped at the border near Mayur Vihar. I was only allowed to move on after the police checked my identity card,” said a reporter who works with a leading daily.
However, the Noida police denied the allegations that media persons’ movement was restricted. “Our team found that some people were carrying media cards. It was difficult to check whether these cards were genuine or fake. But media persons were allowed after verification,” the DCP said.
Saurabh Singh, a resident of Sector 30, said that he was stopped at the DND Flyway while going to Delhi. “My uncle is admitted to a hospital in Kalkaji. I want to meet him, but the police have stopped me from going there,” he said.
An elderly woman who refused to share her name was seen at the Chilla border urging the cops to let her pass as her husband had passed away in Lucknow and she was on her way there. After a while, cops allowed her to pass.
People alleged that they faced hour-long snarls on three major entry-exit points at the broder -- DND Flyway, Mayur Vihar-Noida Sector 14 and Delhi-Meerut expressway (Noida-Ghaziabad border).
“It’s been more than half-an-hour and I have hardly moved 50 feet. I am coming from Ghaziabad and have to reach Jaypee hospital in Noida where I work,” said Naveen Kumar Sharma who was stuck at the Mayur Vihar junction around 9am on Monday.
Essential services personnel faced issues because of people ignoring lockdown and moving on roads freely, the police said.
“There should be a separate lane for doctors so that we don’t waste our time in traffic jam. I have stuck in the jam for more than an hour,” said Dr Jyoti Jain, a physician working at Fortis Hospital Noida.
According to Rajesh S, DCP (Noida traffic), a number of commuters said that their family members and relatives were unwell and hence they wanted to go. “It’s difficult to verify such claims. This leads to a discussion between the cops and commuters, and the traffic becomes slow. We found that a number of people are on roads without a valid reason despite lockdown. We urge people to stay indoors till the lockdown period is over and help in checking spread of Sars-Cov2 virus. The situation is being managed and we hope to see better results as the lockdown progresses,” he said.
The Noida police in a press statement said that they conducted checking at 86 locations in the district and registered 96 FIRs against people for violation of Section 144 of CrPc. The police also issued challans to 1,995 persons for different traffic violations.
Subhash Kumar, a Delhi police constable at DND Flyway, said, “We are checking the identity cards of the commuters. If there is a medical practitioner, or someone involved in emergency services, we allow them. People travelling without valid reason are directed to return after taking a U-turn,” he said.
Confusion also prevailed as to what constitutes essential services.
“We provide parts to an ECG device manufacturing company in Noida Phase 2, but we were not let in even though we had the genuine papers,” said Sunil Yadav, a transporter stuck at the Mayur Vihar-Noida border.
Those commuters who managed to navigate through the DND Flyway toll plaza towards Delhi, they were stopped again around 500-meter away after crossing the Yamuna river. The Delhi Police has placed barricades to screen their entry and ask to return unwanted persons through a U-turn. The police have also set up barricades at Kalindi Kunj and Delhi-Meerut e-way and strictly checking commuters for the entry.