Thousands stranded at Andhra state border as Hyderabad lockdown looms

On Sunday, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced that the cabinet would meet in three or four days to discuss the suggestion of health department and medical experts to reimpose lockdown in the limits of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation for at least 15 days.
Thousands of vehicles got stranded at toll gates on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada national highway and at inter-state borders at Garikapadu. (HT photo)
Thousands of vehicles got stranded at toll gates on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada national highway and at inter-state borders at Garikapadu. (HT photo)
Updated on Jul 01, 2020 08:02 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Hyderabad | BySrinivasa Rao Apparasu | Edited by Ashutosh Tripathi

With the Telangana government mulling the possibility of re-enforcing complete lockdown in Hyderabad and nearby districts in the next couple of days, there has been a mad rush of Andhra people going back to their native places in the last 24 hours.

On Sunday, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced that the state cabinet would meet in three or four days to discuss the suggestion of health department and medical experts to reimpose lockdown in the limits of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation for at least 15 days in the wake of sharp spike in the number of positive cases for Covid-19.

Beginning Tuesday evening, there has been large-scale migration of people from Hyderabad to their native places in Andhra Pradesh. Thousands of vehicles got stranded at toll gates on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada national highway and at inter-state borders at Garikapadu.

Many migrant labourers from Andhra, who returned to Hyderabad after lifting of lockdown restrictions, were also rushing back to their native villages. Similar incidents of a large number of vehicles getting stranded were reported from Pondugala and Vadapalli inter-state check posts.

Most of these travellers going back to Andhra were, however, stopped at the check-posts, as the Andhra police did not allow them into the state unless they had registered their names in the state government portal, Spandana, and obtained a travel permit.

“It was a shock for us, as the Union government guidelines for unlock 2 clearly said there shall be absolutely no hindrance in the inter-state or intra-state movement of individuals or goods and that no separate permits or passes will be required for the same,” S Narasimha Rao, a private employee who was held up at the Garikapadu check post along with the family, said.

However, Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police Gautam Sawang said the state had powers to decide on the inter-state transport. “Since people are coming from Hyderabad which has been witnessing a high number of Covid-19 cases, we are taking precautions in allowing them into the state,” he said.

The officer made it clear that only those who had obtained travel permits after registering their details on the official portal would be allowed into the state. “We shall allow them only after conducting the mandatory thermal screening. These restrictions will continue till further notice and people should cooperate with us in their own interest,” Sawang said.

Even the passholders are being stopped at the check-posts if they are coming after 7 pm. “The travel permits are valid only between 7 am and 7 pm. The borders will be sealed after 7 pm,

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022