Tribune News Service
Gurugram, May 29
Massive traffic jams were witnessed on the Delhi-Gurgaon border on Friday as the Haryana Government restricted entry following a spike in coronavirus cases. Hundreds of vehicles stood bumper-to-bumper as motorists indulged in heated arguments with cops on duty as they allowed only essential service providers and e-movement pass holders to drive through.
Acting on Home Minister Anil Vij’s order, the Gurugram police sealed the Delhi-Gurugram-Sirhaul border on NH-8, Chakkarpur border on Mehrauli-Gurugram (MG) road, old Delhi road at Kapashera and other stretches connected to Delhi. Police personnel were deployed in large numbers and barricades put up.
The chaos started around 8 am when social media went abuzz with reports of a free run at the border despite Vij’s order. Within minutes, the administration and local police swung into action allowing only restricted entry. Soon, a group of around 50 cyclists claiming to be industrial workers blocked the road after being stopped from crossing the border. They alleged that while cars were allowed, they were being stopped.
The blockage led to a massive jam and the police refused entry to everyone, including persons with daily travel passes issued by the Gurugram, Delhi and Noida administrations. The police opened just one lane at the border for essential services providers. In no time, vehicles piled up, people argued with cops, but were turned away.
“Is this some kind of joke? One day you say ‘get a pass and come, start your office’; and the next day the minister decides to close the border. After driving for an hour, we are made to stand and are roughed up by cops. I have a tech startup and have an important meeting with an investor. When I reached the border, I was denied entry despite a valid daily pass issued by the Gurugram DC. The cops have no written orders to block our entry,” said Rajan Shrivastav, a Noida resident, who has his office in Sector 44.
Home Minister justifies curbs
Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij suggested that the lockdown continue beyond May 31 and justified the strictness at the Delhi borders, saying free movement will lead to a surge in cases. “Giving more relaxations at this stage can lead to increase in cases. Because the stage at which coronavirus is right now, need of the hour is that lockdown should be extended.” He said he had spoken to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to reduce the time period of a containment zone. “28 days is too long, 14 days will be apt as incubation period of the virus is also this much,” Vij said.
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