Chaotic scenes were witnessed at the Delhi-Faridabad border today as Faridabad became the third city in Haryana to completely seal its border with Delhi from 12 pm. On Monday, Sonipat and Jhajjar had sealed their border with Delhi. Now only the border with Gurugram is still open but there too one needs the special government passes to gain entry. In case of the other three places, entry has been banned irrespective of passes.
In Faridabad today, even essential service providers like doctors, policemen, bank employees, media personnel and those carrying medical supplies were not allowed to enter. Only vehicles carrying essential commodities such as vegetables, fruits and dairy products were allowed.
Nadeem Mallik, who runs a business of selling medical products and was stopped at the border, said, "When I had to enter Delhi I had listed all my details to the police officials and I was told to come back by 12pm. I asked what if it goes a bit beyond that. They said come by 12:30 pm but I have come at 12:05 pm and they have stopped me. I deal in cardiac procedure products and it was important for me to go."
The decision from the Faridabad administration came in the wake of recent coronavirus cases in Haryana being linked to Delhi. Sources in the Haryana government said that out of 50 recent coronavirus cases, nearly 20 have been contact-traced to Delhi. Haryana health minister Anil Vij had earlier called Haryana residents who work in Delhi as "corona carriers". Mr Vij had also appealed to the Delhi chief minister to arrange the stay for such people in the national capital itself.
Maintaining that prevention is better than cure, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said tough measures were required at the state's border points with the national capital. "We will not allow this (coronavirus) infection to enter our state from Delhi". Mr Khattar said COVID-19 cases are either linked to those who are employed in Delhi, their family members or their contacts.
Even people with medical issues struggled at the border today. 33-year-Sonali Kumar who is five months pregnant was stopped from going to the hospital. Her husband Ajit had to request the policemen several times and they were finally allowed to go.
Ajit Kumar said, "My wife is five months pregnant and I have an appointment at 1pm at a hospital in Faridabad. Her treatment has been going on at the hospital. There is an internal problem with the baby and that is why it is very important to go."
Authorities claimed that people had been warned in advance and were given sufficient time to make alternative arrangements.
Ratandeep Bali, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Faridabad, said , "We have been strict for last three days and had sealing orders but we were letting people go after explaining to them that no future movement would be allowed. We have now implemented Section 144. We gave them time till 12 pm to make alternative arrangements."
For people who work in Delhi and live in nearby states such restrictions are becoming a big worry. Recently, Noida administration had also made special passes necessary for all those entering from Delhi.