Chaos, jams at entry points after Delhi borders sealed

Chaos and jams at entry points after satellite cities seal borders with Delhi

 Traffic jam on the NH-24 at Ghazipur after the authorities sealed Delhi-Ghaziabad border due to a sudden surge in coronavirus cases, during ongoing COVID-19 lockdown-4, in New Delhi, Friday, May 29, 2020. (PTI Photo)

The tightening of traffic restrictions put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus by Gurgaon and Ghaziabad administrations on their borders with Delhi led to chaos and traffic congestion on Friday.

This comes a day after the Haryana government issued fresh orders to seal the inter-state border to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Earlier this week, the Ghaziabad district administration too made the inter-city movement stricter after it reported a spike in coronavirus cases.

Although Ghaziabad, Nodia, Gurgaon fall under different states, a large number of people stay in these two cities, but work in Delhi or vice versa.

"There was a massive chaos this morning with traffic jams as the police were not allowing people to cross the border from either sides,” Ruchir Sharma, who stays in Uttam Nagar in west Delhi but works with a diagnostics laboratory in Gurgaon, said.

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“The new directive (of tightening the restrictions) came late night, so no one had clarity and instructions were not issued to the police. I am not sure if they are allowing essential services people or not but to get to the check post after clearing the whole queue was a long wait so I decided to come back,” Sharma added.

Those travelling to and from Ghaziabad said the checking had become very strict.

Rajendra Singh Yadav, who works in a medical store in Ghaziabad and resides in Shahadra in east Delhi, said the checking by police in Ghaziabad led to traffic congestion on the border.

Assistant Superintendent of Ghaziabad Police Keshav Kumar told PTI that they are conducting checks on the border. Entry will be allowed for only those involved in essential services.

He also acknowledged that there was heavy traffic on the borers due to checking by the police.

Haryana's Home Minister Anil Vij on Friday justified strictness on the state's borders with the national capital, saying if the state does not take such measures its coronavirus cases would be at par with Delhi.

Citing a sharp increase in coronavirus cases during the past one week in the Haryana districts adjoining Delhi, Vij had on Thursday issued fresh orders for sealing borders with the national capital.

“I regularly monitor and keep a close watch on the situation. Here we are trying to save each life, if we do not maintain strictness on the borders and allow free movement of people, then I can say undoubtedly our cases would be at par with Delhi. I have to stop free movement of people,” said Vij while justifying the strict measures, a day after he issued the fresh orders.

Taking to Twitter, the Delhi police alerted commuters taking the route to plan their travel accordingly.

“Traffic is moving very slow in the carriageway from Delhi towards Haryana due to checking by Haryana Police at Singhu border,” the Delhi Traffic Police tweeted.

Similar was the case with Gautam Buddh Nagar.

In an open letter to Noida and Greater Noida residents, Suhas L Y on Thursday stressed the need for maintaining the “status quo” on the Noida-Delhi border, citing similar reasons.

“These decisions are being taken after looking at the epidemiological (medical) data, prevailing situation in the neighbouring places and contact tracing of previous Covid positive patients. Therefore, the pertinent point to note is, what cost in terms of convenience are we willing to incur for the health of and well-being of the community and vice versa,” he wrote. 

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