Photo used for representational purpose only
CHANDIGARH/GURUGRAM: Anxious commuters on both sides of the Delhi-Haryana border, already struggling for clarity on passes, may be staring at yet another week of confusion and vehicle pileups, with daily directives from governments on sealing, de-sealing and re-sealing leaving them little time to catch up with the last one.
From Wednesday morning, Haryana will once again seal its borders and allow entry to only e-pass holders, with some exceptions. This comes a day after it had reopened its borders after keeping them sealed throughout May.
The state blamed the Delhi government’s move to seal its own border on Monday. Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday put the ball in Delhi’s court, saying his government’s decision on allowing traffic was tied to his counterpart Arvind Kejriwal‘s. “Consequent to the Centre’s advisory, we had opened the borders for general movement. But, as far as inter-state movement is concerned, traffic could resume after both the states have consented,” said Khattar.
Respite for commuters as cops allow access
As far as interstate movement is concerned, traffic can resume after both the states consent. As Delhi has not done this, we will resume after Delhi government agrees to allow traffic movement. Else, we have already opened the borders with all the other states,” said Khattar.
Home minister Anil Vij, too, put the onus on the Delhi government and Kejriwal. “They (the AAP government) have to go against the central government, hence they have put restrictions. We have already decided to open the borders,” he said.
The Gurugram administration also issued an order, reinforcing the requirement of e-passes. Deputy commissioner Amit Khatri, however, said for movement within the state, there will be no requirement of any kind of permit.
For commuters, meanwhile, there was a brief respite on Tuesday, a day after Haryana reopened its borders and Delhi sealed its own. Despite putting up barricades, Gurugram cops did not stop any vehicles, and neither did Delhi. Traffic flow was unhindered in the capital during the morning peak hours, since there were no guidelines on exemptions. However, by evening, cops stopped those without movement passes. The scene was similar at the Faridabad-Aya Nagar border as well.
A senior government official there was “no clarity or clear direction from the top” about cross-border movement. “Some people in the government want to continue with the restrictions, but it is not possible practically and will create problems for people, particularly in NCR cities,” the official said, adding even though the border is open, restrictions could kick in soon.
Those travelling between the cities are facing a tough time keeping up with the conflicting directives from various authorities.
“The Union government announced easing of restrictions and did away with passes for inter-state movement. Gurugram police eased border curbs too but now there is again an order for getting e-pass for cross-border movement,” said Sachin Prashar, a software professional who lives in Gurugram but works in Delhi.
Karan Talwar, who owns a construction business in Gurugram, had started going to his office since Monday but was stopped at the border picket while returning.
“I did not carry a physical copy of my movement pass presuming that the restrictions would not be in place. I was allowed to pass through to Gurugram from Rajokri side in the morning. However, while returning the police had stopped me to check my pass. I managed to get a soft copy on WhatsApp from a family member, after which I was allowed to go,” said Talwar.
Since May, guidelines on inter-state movement have been changing regularly and have often led to chaos at the borders. Haryana first ‘sealed’ borders on May 1, and then eased curbs after a high court directive. Checks were tightened again recently after an order by Vij to ‘seal’ borders. While the borders were ordered to reopen, confusion reigned on Monday as only pass holders were allowed, triggering snarls.
(With inputs from Somreet Bhattacharya and Sakshi Chand in New Delhi)