As Delhi shuts its borders with Gurugram, commuters face difficulties travelling
However, the Delhi government on Monday announced closing its borders with the neighbouring states to control the influx of Covid patients since thousands in other states depend on Delhi hospitals for treatment.Updated: Jun 02, 2020 03:52 IST
Just as the Haryana government decided to lift restrictions on the Gurugram border, the Delhi governments has shut it on its side. Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who chaired a meeting in Chandigarh on Sunday evening, had said that the curbs should be eased even though the administration was yet to issue a written order.
However, the Delhi government on Monday announced closing its borders with the neighbouring states to control the influx of Covid patients since thousands in other states depend on Delhi hospitals for treatment. The Gurugram administration has maintained restrictions on entry from Delhi side with varying degree of curbs for the past two months.
The two conflicting orders on Monday evoked sharp reactions from the commuters and businessmen in the Millennium City.
Nidhi Sharma, a South Delhi resident who travels to Gurugram daily for work, said the two orders have only added to the confusion. “I have been carrying my stuff in my car for the last one month. I had already shifted to Gurugram twice and returned after the relaxations were announced. This is sheer harassment,” she said.
Another daily commuter, Gurugram resident Gaurav Gupta, expressed frustration over the confusion prevailing at the border connecting the two cities. “Its becoming very difficult to manage work and home with the current border situation. Every morning I leave for office thinking that what if I am not allowed to return what if cops ask me to stay back in Delhi. My family members are equally worried, “ he said.
Muhammad Akil, commissioner of police, said on Monday that checking at all the 11 border crossings of the state that connect Gurugram with Delhi has been relaxed during the day. Intense checking is being carried out only during the rush hours. “We have not received any fresh orders regarding any changes at the borders. Our teams are deployed and have been directed to check the vehicles without movement passes. We are also allowing people without passes who are visiting the city for medical or personal reasons. But they need to establish their reason,” he said.
There was not much congestion at the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway on Monday unlike last week, when the border was sealed again for a day. However, movement was restricted to three lanes on either side.
The police personnel deployed at the border on Monday evening said that many commuters were stopping there to ask them about the situation at the Delhi border but they couldn’t help them with any information because of the lack of clarity.
Several commuters who could enter Gurugram without any checks on Monday from Delhi said the governments may have taken such decisions in the wake of rising Covid cases, but for them it is a question of livelihood. Many of them have now resorted to find alternative routes.
Thousands of industrial workers who stay in Delhi are now reaching their factories in Gururam through unpaved pathways in the Rajokri forest area, entering near Kapashera area and coming out near the Sirhaul border after jumping a small canal.
Ram Dev, a worker of a spice factory in Udyog Vihar said that they started using the irregular paths to escape the police screening. “Coming through the main road was wastage of time as cops used to stop us and used to ask for passes, which were not provided by our employers,” he said.
Shahja, a factory worker commuting from Kapashera to Udyog Vihar, said that the forest route is a short cut and more than 300 labourers travel together to reach their workplace. “Earlier we used to cross the border walking but now for the past 10 days, the police are not allowing us. So we have decided to cross the border via an irregular stretch, which is not manned by the police,” she said.
The industry owners of Gurugram have also expressed surprise at the decision by the Delhi government.
Shamsher Singh, a Udyog Vihar factory owner, said that how can the factories operate without labourers. There is no relaxation for the factories and, on the other hand, the labourers are facing issues in commuting. There is no transport facility for them and they have no other choice but to cycle or walk,” he said.
The Union home ministry on Saturday had stated in its fresh guidelines that governments should allow free intrastate movement. However, the state governments are free to frame their own rules based on the Centre’s recommendations. Haryana government is yet to issue any formal guidelines for unlocking the city.
Meanwhile a senior Delhi Police officer, requesting anonymity, said, “We are yet to receive a new notification from the Delhi government. The order will be implemented as and when we get it. Until then, existing border picket-checking will continue.”