Commuters hassled as Noida shuts Kalindi Kunj border for CM Yogi’s Noida visit
The Noida traffic police said the restrictions were part of heightened security on account of a visit by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who was in Noida’s Sector 39 to inaugurate a hospital. He later visited Sector 59 to inspect a Covid-19 management control room.Updated: Aug 09, 2020 01:54 IST
Saturday morning turned into a nightmare for commuters between Delhi and Noida with the Noida police shutting the Kalindi Kunj border and placing barricades to check vehicles at the other entry points to Noida -- on Noida Link Road, Delhi-Noida-Direct Flyway, and Mayur Vihar Phase-2 -- as well as the entry points to Ghaziabad.
The Noida traffic police said the restrictions were part of heightened security on account of a visit by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who was in Noida’s Sector 39 to inaugurate a hospital. He later visited Sector 59 to inspect a Covid-19 management control room.
Commuters complained about the “unannounced” border closure, which led to serpentine traffic queues at the Delhi-Noida borders. The situation was particularly bad at Kalindi Kunj, where vehicles were being turned back by the police.
“I was on my way from Sarita Vihar to Noida. At Kalindi Kunj, police had put up barricades stopping vehicular entry from the Delhi side. I was left waiting for an hour, before traffic cops told us that the restrictions will be removed only by afternoon,” Saurav Kumar, a commuter, said.
The Kalindi Kunj border closure had a cascading effect on the traffic on Delhi-Mathura Road, which became choked. Many said the chaos on the stretch was also aggravated by drivers reversing their vehicles on seeing the barricades and trying to make their way back against the flow of traffic.
In a series of advisories issued on Saturday through their social media accounts, the Delhi traffic police informed commuters from Delhi about the barricading on the Noida borders and suggested that they take alternative routes.
“Traffic movement is very slow from Delhi towards NOIDA on Kalindi Kunj Flyover due to very tight barricading/checking by NOIDA Police. Motorists are advised to use DND,” read the first advisory, issued at 10am.
However, a while later, the high traffic volume on the DND Flyway route brought vehicles to a standstill. “Being the weekend, the traffic was still under control. We were issuing regular advisories but the closure of borders was a call taken by the Noida police on account of VVIP movement. By evening, the traffic had eased,” a senior Delhi traffic police officer said.
A large number of trucks and bikers were also stranded. Noida traffic police said vehicles attached to essential services were allowed to proceed and others were requested to take the DND Flyway.
“We reinforced the border restrictions today (Saturday) morning which led to slow movement of traffic. The traffic on Kalindi Kunj route was stopped for less than 10 minutes due to the CM’s visit and it did not cause any major snarls. However, for threat assessment, some vehicles were being checked and necessary documents verified,” deputy commissioner of police, zone 1 (Noida), Sankalp Sharma said.
Frustrated commuters took to social media to vent their anger. Many posted pictures and videos of the stagnant traffic, while others complained about the lack of prior information and absence of traffic personnel to redirect vehicles.
Devendra Mawai, a commuter, tweeted, “Whole Noida and Delhi border is blocked for last four hours without any prior information, it’s absolutely chaotic and there is a terrible jam on the Delhi-Noida border; I’m on the Yamuna bridge for last three hours . Please allow smooth traffic. (sic)”
Noida also has weekend restrictions on account of the “mini lockdown” in place to help with Covid-19 social distancing norms. Police said the borders will be monitored as long as these lockdowns continue in the state.