UP Gate was choked with traffic on Wednesday. A significant volume was that of office-goers
NOIDA/NEW DELHI/GHAZIABAD: While more offices and businesses in NCR are opening up, all borders are not. After a month of confusion, the Gurugram and Faridabad borders saw a relative ease in the flow of traffic on Wednesday as police removed barricades. But at Delhi’s borders with Noida and Ghaziabad, it was a different story.
With fewer lanes open, both Delhi and Noida police checking every vehicle for valid passes and not everyone even having passes, the tailbacks kept getting longer on both sides of the DND Flyway and Chilla border. And some commuters ended up waiting for as long as two and a half hours, before turning back. “I left home, at Amrapali Village Apartment in Indirapuram, around 9am for a surgery scheduled at 11am. But I was stuck in the jam for two and a half hours and didn’t even reach UP Gate. Traffic was not moving because Delhi Police were checking vehicles at the Delhi border. Around 11.30am, I decided to turn back. I had to ask another doctor to take over the surgery for me,” said Dr Swati Sinha, an obstetrician-gynaecologist at Sitaram Bhartia Hospital in Delhi.
With offices opening up, a significant volume of traffic was that of office-goers. “I started from my home at Shakti Khand in Indirapuram at 9.15am for my office on Lodhi Road. It doesn’t take more than 35-40 minutes, usually. But on Wednesday, when I got to DME, it was chock-a-block. I had never seen such a mess on the roads,” said Ankit Gupta, a resident of Indirapuram. “After one and a half hours, I could only make it to the toll plaza before Ghazipur landfill. Even after crossing that, there was congestion.”
Many of those who patiently made it to the border were turned back because they didn’t have passes.
Some tried showing official letterheads, but that didn’t cut it.
“I needed to get a few things from my employer, who lives in south Delhi. I did not have a pass, not at such short notice. As a result, I couldn’t cross over,” said Mohan Sharma, a 36-year-old carpenter from Greater Noida.
So there had to be some workarounds. Mohan asked his employer to come to the border, where he got the material he needed from his employer, and then turned back. Rajesh Kumar, sales manager at a private bank, too, said he needed to go to the Delhi office from Sector 50 in Noida to hand over some documents. He didn’t have a pass. “So I had to call another employee to came to DND, I handed over the papers at the border and came back to Noida.”
Some others were seen arguing with police officers about passes. The Centre had, after all, allowed inter-state movement. But the Noida and Ghaziabad district administrations and Delhi government had not. And that’s the hold-up.
“When a vehicle approaches the border post, the driver should keep the pass ready. People start looking for their papers after they get to the check point and that adds to the delay. If we ask them to pull over and park by the side, that also causes a jam. All we request is that people commute only if they have valid passes and ID,” a police officer posted at a checking point said.
“Police could at least open more lanes on both sides so ease the pressure. At least half an hour is wasted just waiting,” said Rituraj Sahdev, on his way back to Noida from Delhi. But in Noida, police were not considering that. “With Delhi police also checking vehicles, traffic pressure has eased on both sides of DND. A maximum of three lanes are being used,” DCP (Noida) Sankalp Sharma said.