More than 1,000 people are stranded on the Telangana-Andhra Pradesh border due to the nationwide lockdown that began on Wednesday to check the spread of Covid-19, reported the Hindustan Times.
They had set off from Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana, to various districts in Andhra Pradesh after obtaining special travel permits from the local police. The passengers, including students and children, were stopped at Garikapadu around 3.30 pm on Wednesday.
One of the passengers said he was travelling with his nine-month pregnant wife after a medical check-up in Hyderabad. “Despite our situation, the police are not willing to let us travel to our destination,” he told the Hindustan Times. “Many are students trying to get home,” an eyewitness told NDTV. “They have been waiting here since morning but have not been allowed to enter Andhra Pradesh.”
Long queues – ignoring social distancing – were seen outside police stations across Hyderabad as people lined up for one-time passes to return to their hometowns, reported Telangana Today. The Andhra Pradesh Police said they had no prior information about Telangana’s decision to issue passes. “When the Prime Minister [Narendra Modi] said everyone should stay where they are, why did the Telangana authorities give permission and issue passes?” asked PV Ramesh, the additional chief secretary to Andhra Pradesh chief minister. “Isn’t it their responsibility as well?”
Ramesh, however, said the government would resolve the impasse by allowing the present batch to enter the state. “Our chief minister sent flights to other countries to bring back our people,” he added. “Everyone is welcome home always but these are very unusual times and no one must move.”
Telangana has 41 confirmed cases, according to a government bulletin on Wednesday. Andhra Pradesh, on the other hand, has 11 cases so far.