GURUGRAM: Haryana government’s announcement that it would reopen its borders with the national capital failed to translate into any sort of relief for commuters between Gurugram and Delhi on Monday. Police and Rapid Action Force personnel put up barricades and carried out stringent checks — leading to tailbacks of up to 3km. Several thousand angry and confused commuters were stuck there for hours.
The lack of clear directions to the cops on ground meant the current restrictions continued, and only people with movement passes were allowed entry and exit at the Sirhaul border. However, after the heavy pile-up of the morning, traffic flow from the capital reduced by afternoon after Delhi government announced the sealing of its border for seven days.
“Delhi government has issued an order sealing its borders till June 8. We have taken it up with them, and they have agreed to honour the passes issued by us,” said V S Kundu, the additional chief secretary.
While movement at Sirhaul eased later in the day, the Kapashera border remained completely sealed. In fact, people with passes were denied passage on Monday. “The area is in a containment zone and no cross-border movement is allowed. Those who have passes have been asked to use the Sirhaul border,” said a policeman.
While Gurugram police commissioner Mohammad Akil could not be reached for comment, a senior officer said, “Until we get formal orders, we will continue with the earlier sealing directives.” Sources indicated that the border checks might be relaxed from Tuesday.
Faridabad, which shares eight borders with Delhi, including one at Badarpur and two at Surajkund, saw increased police presence. However, the checks were not as strict as they were in Gurugram, and those with movement passes or engaged in essential services were allowed passage. In Palwal, however, the cops blocked the Kundli border and forced many people to return to Delhi.
The closed borders were a rude shock for many. “My movement pass expired on May 30 and I did not renew it after hearing the news about the border reopening. But today, they asked me for a pass,” said Ram Karan, a Delhiite who owns a pharmacy in Gurugram. Ashish Kumar, a Delhi resident employed by an IT firm in Gurugram, told TOI, “My office asked me to report for work but I am stuck at the border.”
In the past one month, guidelines on movement have been changing frequently, leaving residents of both cities struggling for clarity on whether they are allowed to cross the border. While the border was ‘sealed’ on May 1, curbs were eased following a May 15 Delhi high court directive to permit essential services to cross freely. However, Haryana home minister Anil Vij said on Friday that the borders would be sealed to check the sharp spike in Covid-19 cases in Gurugram.