Lockdown 5.0: No respite from traffic at bordersUpdated: Jun 01, 2020 23:44 IST
Traffic remained chaotic across Noida-Delhi borders on Monday even as the country moved on to the fifth phase of the lockdown.
“It took me over two hours to reach Noida’s Sector 18 from Greater Kailash in Delhi via the DND Flyway. The police checked every vehicle for a valid pass and ID while only one lane was operational. Vehicular movement has been slow due to checking for the past few days, but this morning it was worse than usual. There were more vehicles on the road, which led to the traffic crawling even slower,” Rishi Oswal, a business owner who commutes to Noida every day, said.
During the past phases of the nationwide lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, even as Delhi permitted certain relaxations, commuters had alleged that the Noida police were a lot stricter concerning cross-border movement.
“However, today (Monday) morning it was bad on both sides (of the border). While crossing the Noida gate towards Delhi, there are barricades in place that slow down the traffic considerably, even though the Delhi Police rarely bother to check permits. I left my house in Noida around 8.20am but reached my workplace in Delhi only around 10am. The situation is equally bad while getting into Noida. Even though I have a pass, many others don’t. They argue with the police who check each vehicle, making it a very slow process. It’s been over two months now. They should have allotted designated lanes for people with passes to keep the traffic moving steadily. There is also a disconnect between the issue of regulations and information to the public,” Anil Arora, a commuter from Sector 50, said.
Commuters allege that the situation is just as bad as it was before, with more traffic on the roads.
“The regulations have not changed in weeks. Why people go out despite that is unfathomable. They argue and hold up traffic which would otherwise move steadily. Most of these people do not have requisite permissions,” a senior police officer said, requesting anonymity.
The police, however, believe that the situation will improve at the border now that Delhi has also decided to seal its borders.
“We hope that the traffic volume will go down by almost 50% after both sides seal the border from both ends. That will go a long way in tackling the traffic menace at any chokepoint,” deputy commissioner of police, traffic, Rajesh S, said.
Traffic at Mayur Vihar-Sector 14 A (Chilla) border is slightly less compared to that on DND Flyway and Kalindi Kunj.
“We keep opening more lanes depending on what the situation warrants. There is steadily moving traffic in Chilla. Even at the other two places, traffic is not stalled, just slow. With Delhi also now closing its borders, the situation should become much better,” DCP, zone 1, Sankalp Sharma, said.
So far only people with administrative passes, medical personnel, Delhi High Court lawyers, passengers with confirmed rail or air tickets, and emergency vehicles are allowed to cross the border. The police often turn back the remaining people.
The lockdown had first been announced on March 24 to tackle the pandemic in India. The district had sealed its border with Delhi in April.