CHANDIGARH/NEW DELHI: Blaming Delhi for the spread of coronavirus in its territory, Haryana on Monday tightened its borders and said those travelling from the national capital to Gurugram and Faridabad will need curfew passes from Tuesday.
Even essential service providers like healthcare workers including doctors and media personnel will not be allowed to enter unless they have curfew passes issued by competent authorities.
Security at the Gurugram and Faridabad borders were tightened, with police teams, including senior officers, deployed and checking every vehicle.
“So far, we have only sealed Sonipat and Jhajjar borders with Delhi. The security and checking at Gurugram and Faridabad borders have been tightened, but these are not sealed as yet,” said Haryana DGP Manoj Yadav.
The move came hours after Haryana’s Home Minister Anil Vij said residents of Haryana who were working in Delhi might be ‘COVID-19 carriers’. He had said the Delhi government should make arrangements for all those who work in the capital to stay there itself.
“They should not be issued passes to travel to Haryana as this is increasing Covid-19 cases here. Many who work in Delhi and stay in Haryana are corona-carriers,” Vij told a news agency.
Delhi government sources expressed shock at Haryana’s response.
“They should understand that both Delhi and Haryana belong to India. The high number of corona cases in Delhi is because a large number of Indians living abroad were brought back in February and March. They belonged to various states but Delhi took care of them and quarantined them. Today, Delhi is suffering much more because most of the international arrivals at that time landed here. We did not complain,” said a government source.
Panic-stricken residents of both the satellite cities slammed the Haryana government for its ‘insensitive’ move.
Nirmala Ganapathy, who works with an international media organisation, said: “Now I am scrambling to figure out how to apply for a pass. I understand the government needs to take precautions, but creating further hurdles for those who are in essential services is not the way.”
Farisha Khan (name changed), who works with an organisation in central Delhi, said the directive is not fair.
The state needs to come out with clear guidelines on the ‘pass’ requirement, she said.
The All-India Government Nurses Federation wrote to Union Home Ministry highlighting the problems faced by nurses at the border while commuting.
They alleged that nurses, doctors and other health care workers were stopped at the border despite showing I-cards and requested the ministry to intervene.