Noida opens up more lanes as border check posts lead to jams – noida

The traffic congestion at the Delhi-Noida borders, which had become something of a mainstay since Tuesday when lockdown restrictions were eased to allow interstate movement, reduced slightly on Friday, but that had little to do with a reduction in vehicular numbers, which commuters claimed was back to what it used to be before the lockdown.

Gautam Budh Nagar is continuing to keep its borders sealed and only people with administration-issued passes and those involved in essential services are being allowed across the state lines.

“In addition, we are also allowing lawyers to travel, in pursuance to an order from the Delhi high court. Till e-passes are issued to lawyers, we are letting them pass after verifying their ID cards. In addition, people who have medical appointments are also allowed cross the borders even if they don’t have a pass — all they need are the medical documents. However, people who still have no emergency or a government-issued pass are not being allowed to cross the state lines,” Noida’s deputy commissioner of police, zone 1, Sankalp Sharma, said.

He said more lanes have been opened at all border points to accommodate the increased volume of traffic. Both officials and commuters are blaming the traffic congestion on people who are travelling without any specific reason.

“The notifications have not changed for Noida for weeks now. People know that the border remains sealed and they are still coming up with various excuses to travel. When we ask them to go and obtain a pass, they start arguing, holding up traffic unnecessarily. Some of them have even been booked under Section 188 but every day, there are a few people who try to break the rules. We have coordinated with the Delhi Police regarding this issue,” a senior police officer, requesting anonymity, said.

Commuters feel that the traffic volume is back to what it used to be before the nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25, to curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

“The normal 50-minute journey from Faridabad to Noida took me almost 1.5 hours on Friday via Kalindi Kunj because in addition to the large number of vehicles, police are also checking each motorist for passes and valid documents. Then there are vehicles that are being turned away for want of necessary papers,” said Amrinder Singh, a commuter, who lives in Faridabad and works in Noida.

The situation is much worse when one is trying to enter Noida. “For us, the evening commute back to Faridabad is smooth, even during peak hours. But at the borders, we see a massive jam almost every day on the Delhi side as motorists queue up to enter Noida. There seems to be a lack of coordination between the Noida and Delhi Police,” Singh said.

With more and more organisations resuming work at full staff strength, there is pressure on commuters to travel.

“I told been told by the HR this weekend that we will now resume work at full scale. But travelling daily is a hassle. It’s easy in the mornings because Delhi Police is not checking commuters, but returning home to Noida is a struggle. Several of my colleagues have asked our company to get passes issued but that hasn’t been done either. We have had to make up excuses while returning to Noida,” an IT startup company employee, who travels from Noida to Delhi via DND Flyway, said.

With state governments yet to iron out the issues, confusion reigns supreme at borders. “I saw on Thursday that the border has opened and that is why I was trying to go to Delhi to visit my in-laws but police didn’t let me through — they said the border continues to be sealed for non-essential personnel,” Sandhya, a commuter trying to cross the Chilla border, said.

The GB Nagar district magistrate and police commissioner had released a joint statement Thursday clarifying that the border status quo continues to be maintained until further instructions from the state government. The administration has written to UP government for a clarification on the issue and is yet to receive any reply.

On DND Flyway, police have already been forced to open up more lanes instead of the single lane that was functioning during the lockdown until Tuesday.

“Even checking passes is no longer feasible because that tends to hold up traffic. Some vehicles we recognise and some we let go. We check every third or fourth car and people who do not have the necessary papers are asked to turn back,” a Noida police constable manning DND Flyway said.


[Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Publisher: hindustantimes]

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