Delhi

‘Lockdown 2021 less stringent than last year’

The police said unlike last year, inter-State movements not restricted this time  

The lockdown rules in Delhi this year might resemble the ones in 2020, but there is a significant difference — there is traffic on the roads with most people out taking care of COVID-19 patients or arranging supplies for them.

Last year, the roads were deserted, police barricades were put up at regular intervals checking for an e-pass and there was no public transport.

City under medical crisis

The police said unlike the previous lockdown, the situation is different this time. The city is under a medical crisis and people are running from pillar to post to arrange or refill oxygen cylinders and they can’t be stopped, they said. There are many exempted categories in this curfew.

“We have witnessed vehicles on the road as people are out for medical assistance. People with genuine reasons have not been fined. And inter-State movement is also not restricted. So, people from NCR are also visiting Delhi for medical reasons,” said a senior officer.

Many feel there is self-discipline among people this year. “I have never been stopped in the four to five times I have stepped out. I feel the lockdown is less stringent than last time because the police also realise the helpless situation and how many people are out on the road to coordinate oxygen and medicine for their loved ones,” said Sayan Kundu, a development researcher.

Ritu Singh had to pick up medicine, which was in short supply, from a friend in North Delhi and deliver it to another friend in Dwarka. She said she was prepared with the prescriptions and other details to share with the police if she was stopped but said it was a smooth journey.

“When the weekend curfew started, there were many volunteers on the road checking for passes. But now, I think everybody in Delhi is scared and not roaming around unnecessarily,” Ms. Singh said.

In other parts of the NCR, checks have been more stringent. Police barricades at borders and checkpoints on main roads have been put in place across Noida and Greater Noida with checking round-the-clock. The lockdown in the district, which was initially supposed to be in effect till Thursday, was extended till Monday. “The market has been shut since last week and only medical shops are being allowed to open,” said Pradeep Suryavanshi, a businessman based in Noida’s sector 18.

“A checkpoint has been made on the main road right near the metro station overlooking the market where e-passes are checked. I had to pick up some documents from my office yesterday [Thursday], but was asked to return from the checkpoint because I didn’t have an e-pass,” he added.


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 4:09:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/lockdown-2021-less-stringent-than-last-year/article34510665.ece

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