The Delhi government’s sealing order on Monday had led to Haryana hardening its stance, with both the CM and h…Read More
GURUGRAM/NEW DELHI: After a roller coaster of directives on the reopening of the Delhi-Haryana borders, commuters were in for a surprise on Wednesday as the Manohar Lal Khattar government removed all the curbs on inter-state movement.
Just a day after the district administration said e-passes would be needed, all 10 border points between Gurugram and Delhi were thrown open — including Kapashera border that had been completely sealed for the past few weeks. Gurugram Police removed the barricades from all checkpoints to allow traffic to flow freely. No vehicle was stopped or no one was asked to show a pass. The situation was similar in Haryana’s other NCR districts of Jhajjar, Faridabad, Sonepat and Palwal.
The Delhi government’s sealing order on Monday had led to Haryana hardening its stance, with both the CM and home minister Anil Vij saying the border curbs would be reciprocal. However, a late-night order on Tuesday withdrew all restrictions.
“In view of the prevailing MHA and state government directions for phased reopening and unrestricted movement of goods and people, the order for restrictions has been withdrawn,” deputy commissioner Amit Khatri said, adding that e-passes are not needed now.
Police commissioner Mohammad Akil did not clarify the reason for the U-turn, and only said, “We have opened the border points and there is no restriction on movement.”
Vehicles entering Delhi from Gurugram, meanwhile, were scanned at a police picket and mostly allowed in. Cops said most vehicles that were checked during peak hours were found to be carrying passes. A few commercial vehicles carrying essential goods were also allowed to pass. Traffic volume was found to be unusually low.
“We could hardly find anyone travelling without a pass or a valid reason. People are mostly aware of the curbs and have been carrying valid ID proofs. There was a bit of a rush during the peak hours as people had stopped to enquire about the restrictions but that too was eased,” said a Delhi traffic cop posted on border duty.
Commuters, who have been kept on tenterhooks, remain sceptical, fearing the restrictions may kick in again. “They keep on changing their stance. We have been hearing about sealing, de-sealing and sealing for the last one week now. Authorities have been issuing contradictory orders… it confuses people,” said Rohit Maini, a Sector 14 resident.
Others said they were worried about the commute to Delhi’s IGI airport. “I have a flight on Thursday from Delhi to Patna. I am in Gurugram and worried about my transportation in the absence of cab services,” said Payal Rauniyar. Praveen Sharma, a resident of DLF Phase-3, told TOI the daily change in orders was confusing.
“I have to go and pick up my sister from Delhi airport on Thursday. Should I apply for a movement pass or will an airline ticket be sufficient?” he asked.
Residents said the governments and the authorities should sort out the border issue and focus on curbing the spread of Covid-19 in the city, which has seen a sharp spike in the two weeks.
“The cases are rising but there does not seem to be any contact tracing. There is no sanctity of containment zones either,” Amit Rai, a resident, said. Haryana’s guidelines on inter-state movement have been changing regularly in the past one month, leading to jams at the borders.
The state first ‘sealed’ borders on May 1, easing curbs only after a May 15 Delhi high court directive. Checks were tightened again recently after an order by Vij to ‘seal’ borders. They were ordered to reopen again, but on Monday only pass holders were allowed, triggering snarls.