As trains start, questions arise on NCR border curbs, RWA Restrictions

Layers of restrictions on movement and the heterogeneity of rules that are in place in various parts of Delhi-NCR have left many in a state of confusion about whether they will be allowed to cross the border if they book a train seat, even though the Centre has clarified that the confirmed ticket will be treated as a pass.

But since Noida has been deciding its own restrictions despite central guidelines, like issuing its own movement passes and invalidating all others, and ‘sealing’ the border, residents took to social media on Tuesday to ask if they could be assured about reaching the railway station in Delhi without facing various hurdles.

Another question many asked was whether people would be allowed to enter homes or societies that are part of containment zones in Noida and Ghaziabad because of the restrictions that RWAs have imposed on guests and “outsiders”.

Rajiva Singh, president of the RWA body, NOFAA, said the Noida administration needed to clear the air, so that residents did not face harassment because of arbitrary interpretation of rules. “Noida does not have a railway station and people here use the Delhi station for commuting. Since the trains have started, there should be a relaxation on movement based on tickets for commuters.

Within societies as well, most RWAS should not have a problem letting people into their own homes with all requisite precaution, but we don’t know what would be the norms for containment zones. The administration should make these things clear for us,” he said.

The administrations in both cities have said that people with confirmed tickets will face no hurdle. However, movement of people in and out of containment zones remains a grey area. Additionally, with no public transport, except a few cabs in Ghaziabad, available during the lockdown, those planning to travel will need someone to drop them to the station and return in a private vehicle. What about the person driving that vehicle? Will she or he be allowed?

“We will allow movement of people to catch a train and will treat the confirmed ticket as a pass. One additional person will be allowed to drop the travellers and return,” said Noida district magistrate Suhas LY.

The Ghaziabad administration is yet to come out with clear directions on movement of people who have booked their tickets. DM Ajay Shankar Pandey said the administration would wait for directions from the government. “However, residents who have bought tickets can catch a train by showing tickets at the border, which will act as a pass for them,” Pandey said.

Residents’ bodies in Ghaziabad said clarity should have been provided by Tuesday so that anyone with a train to catch could do so in peace. “The administration should immediately issue guidelines as trains have already started operating. Several residents’ bodies are calling and asking us how to deal with guests or residents who come by trains from other cities,” said Alok Kumar, founder of the Federation of Association of Apartment Owners.