Gurugram suspends border checking during rush hour to ease traffic
Police said stopping and checking every vehicle was resulting in traffic congestion up to Dhaula Kuan in Delhi, which is nearly 12 kilometres away.Updated: May 23, 2020 18:39 IST
Gurugram Police on Friday said that the checking of movement passes at Sirhaul border— that connects Gurugram with Delhi — will be suspended daily between 6am and 9am and between 5pm to 8pm to prevent traffic congestion that the stretch has been witnessing ever since private offices were allowed to resume operations earlier this week.
Police said stopping and checking every vehicle was resulting in traffic congestion up to Dhaula Kuan in Delhi, which is nearly 12 kilometres away. Hence, they will remove the barricades during these hours to ensure smooth vehicular movement.
The district administration, however, reiterated that having movement passes issued through the SARAL portal was still mandatory for crossing the border.
Before the lockdown on an average around 2.5 to 3 lakh cars used to run on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway now. During the lockdown period it has come down to 15,000-20,000, said an official of Millennium City Expressways Private Limited — the concessionaire of the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway.
Gurugram police commissioner Muhammad Akil said that vehicular movement has increased and employees have started travelling to their offices in industrial, corporate, and private sectors. “There is no fresh order but we have relaxed the checking due to volume of traffic entering the city during the morning and exiting in the evening. Hundreds of vehicles were piling up as the checking takes at least 40 seconds per vehicle,” he said.
Akil said the police still can randomly stop and check any vehicles during the peak hours and the checking will be conducted as usual during the rest of the day — 9am and 5pm.
The deployment has also been reduced to 10 police personnel from 25 in one shift after relaxation was given to the daily commuters, said police.
Meanwhile, commuters faced long hours of congestion on Friday with many vehicles being denied entry after being thoroughly checked by the police on Friday. A number of people who were trying to cross the border on foot, too, were stopped for lack of valid permissions.
Some, however, were lucky and managed to escape the jam.
Isha Tyagi, an entrepreneur and a resident of Ardee City, said that she had to visit Delhi on Friday and her request for a pass on the SARAL portal was rejected. She still took a chance and crossed over to Delhi. “There was no checking at the border at 8am and when I asked one of the police officials, he told me that they start checking after 9am. I returned at 11am and could easily sneak back in without getting noticed,” she said.
Another commuter, Shyam Yadav, who works in an information technology company in Sector 38, said he had been trying to cross the border unsuccessfully for the last 15 days. On Friday, he took a chance and got lucky. He managed to cross over without any checking. “The police were checking random vehicles and most of them had pasted the pass on their windscreens. The police at the border said that we can cross during the morning hours without any checking, so I have informed my colleagues also,” he said.
The district administration, in an order, has only permitted the movement of those involved in essential services, medical and paramedical staff, and paramilitary officials and those who have administration-issued passes to cross over. Amit Khatri, deputy commissioner, said that they are maintaining the status quo on travel restrictions now between Gurugram and Delhi.
The ministry of home affairs (MHA), last week, had removed all restrictions on interstate travel with the state’s consent The Gurugram district administration, however, chose to continue with the travel restrictions.
A senior Delhi traffic police official said, “Since the Delhi government relaxed movement norms and allowed offices to function with full workforce, we have not been issuing any passes for intra city movement. However, the border inspections by Haryana and UP governments have been causing long jams on the Delhi side. This decision of the Gurugram police will ease peak hour rush in Delhi to a great extent.”
Border areas like Sirhaul and Dundahera witnessed heavy traffic congestion during office hours starting Monday and the traffic volume is likely to increase in coming days, said police.
Vijay Kumar, sub-inspector, deployed at Sirhaul border, said that the movement of vehicles has increased in the past week. “We are checking more than 1,000 passes every day. We remove the barricade when the volume of traffic is high and allow three lanes of traffic to cross. During the day, we have dedicated one lane for four-wheelers and one separate lane for two-wheelers,” he said.