While junior officers said there was not enough staff at the DND to manage more than three lanes, senior police officers told TOI that enough staff was provided to the Sector 20 police station whose force manages the deployment at the border.
After a hiatus of Eid, when traffic went thinner, snarls were back at the DND Flyway from as early 10am on Tuesday.
As office-goers, those engaged in provision of essential services, goods carriers etc were being stopped for checking of the e-passes, commuters piled up at the tail end of the two lanes.
As pictures of the long snarls went viral, cops opened three lanes on the DND and Rapid Action Force (RAF) was deployed to help streamline traffic.
Cops rued that while they had strict orders of checking, enough lanes were not open as only 10 persons have been posted at the DND at present.
While four constables are from the traffic police, the rest of them are from the Sector 20 police station and the police lines.
“At present, there are 10 people posted on the DND. Even if we open three lanes, we need at least three persons each to look after each lane.
Despite the GB Nagar police having adequate strength of junior police officers, only 10 constables of the traffic and civil police have been deployed on the DND. More lanes can be opened but it would need staff,” a police officer said.
Similar situation was witnessed at the Mahamaya-Kalindi Kunj route where the commuters pile up at a single lane everyday.
On Tuesday too, snarls were reported there between 3pm and 6pm as commuters from Delhi returned towards Noida.
While the district administration has so far expressed its unwillingness to open borders and even gone ahead with submitting a report to the Supreme Court as to why the borders should not be opened (suggesting that opening borders would make Noida more vulnerable to Covid outbreak), demands for opening the borders continue to grow with each passing day.
Some commuters said that Delhi-NCR was always a single unit.
“What’s the exit plan for unsealing the Delhi Noida Gurgaon route? Are we waiting for a ‘Corona Free’ Delhi or Noida to open the traffic? Delhi NCR has always been a single unit. Are we soon going to see fencing and BSF on the ‘Borders’ of NCR?,” wrote Kaustuva Mishra, a twitter user from Delhi.
@dmgbnagar What’s the exit plan for unsealing the Delhi Noida Gurgaon route? Are we waiting for a ‘Corona Free’ Del… https://t.co/sXChueQtdh
— Kaustuva Mishra (@cos2v) 1590417101000
Siddhartha Mazumder, a corporate banker from Noida requested the administration to open borders.
“To my apprehension, this restriction will eventually result in mass unemployment among people working in Delhi and Noida. I request again to DM sir to open the borders so that we can resume our work. Already many have suffered due to pay cuts and layoffs,” he said.
Others asked the administration to speedily get clarification from the UP government regarding opening of borders.
Deepak Gupta, a PSU banker demanded that the district administration expedites the process to obtain clarification from the UP government regarding the commute situation of Delhi-Noida border.
“I am a banker (essential services) who lives in Noida and work in Delhi. I have applied for an e -pass on the very first day when border got sealed,” he said.
With the matter already being heard by the Supreme Court, Noida police said it was ready to increase lanes and staff at the DND border.
“Ample force has been given to the Sector 20 police station from the Noida zone. In fact, – from the police lines, around 25 constables have also been given to the police station from which force is taken for deployment at two borders – DND and Chilla border. There is no staff crunch. On Tuesday, we started running four lanes at the DND in my presence. However, in case, they still feel that the staff is less, we will increase the staff and number of lanes too,” DCP (Noida) Sankalp Sharma told TOI.
However, a spot visit at the spot around 4pm showed that checking at the DND Flyway was relaxed and commuters were seeing having a free run. “Massive snarls were witnessed at the DND on Tuesday when cops resorted to strict checking. It is a strange dilemma, if we resort to strict checking, we are blamed for snarls and if we do not check, people start saying checking does not happen,” said a police officer at the spot.