COVID-19: Hundreds Let Into Andhra After Being Stranded for Hours
Hundreds of people who set off from Hyderabad to various districts in Andhra Pradesh were stranded on 25 March at the Garikapadu check-post on the inter-state border as the police refused to allow them passage. Intervention of the local YSRCP MLA from Jaggayyapeta, Samineni Udayabhanu, who is also the Government Whip did not help. This is because he blamed the lack of coordination between the two states' authorities for the situation.
Local Deputy Superintendent of Police, Ramana Murthy said since the lockdown was enforced and the inter-state borders have been sealed, no vehicle or person could be allowed into the state.
The stranded passengers were stuck because there was no water or food in the vicinity. Also, the panic-stricken passengers were huddled in a group as they waited for some kind of intervention from the higher authorities to end the impasse. The passengers, including a few women and children set off from Hyderabad in cabs after obtaining special travel permits from the local police.
“We are a group of students and have been asked to vacate our hostels. The Hyderabad police gave us special travel permit to return to our native place and accordingly we hired a cab and started our journey this morning. We were blocked at this place as the Andhra police are unwilling to let us in,” a student said.
Another passenger said he was travelling with his wife, who was nine months pregnant, after a medical check-up in Hyderabad. “Despite our situation, the police are not willing to let us travel to our destination,” he said.
The local MLA arrived at the scene on Wednesday night and discussed with the police if something could be done to help the stranded passengers.
“Those who were going to Guntur from Hyderabad were allowed via Piduguralla but here they blocked everything. There is a clear lack of coordination between the officials of the two states," Udayabhanu said.
He said the passengers could be permitted to continue their journey after conducting the required thermal screening tests.
After several people took to social media to highlight the issue, Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao tweeted, “Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao spoke to Andhra CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy regarding the issue. Matter should be resolved soon and everyone will be taken care of.”
The issue was also discussed with the Krishna District Collector, post which people were allowed to pass after following the protocol.
“No further movement across the border. Appeal to all to stay where you are,” he added.
In an appeal as the people were being let through, Andhra Pradesh Government Advisor, S Rajiv Krishna said, "After tonight, request all in Hyderabad to stay put till further instructions and not try to cross border. Not safe. Telangana CM KCR’s government has issued orders so that you will not have any problems with hostels.”
The Andhra Pradesh government has also advised the students not to venture out of the hostels and call the helpline number '1902' in case of any trouble.
(Published in an arrangement with The News Minute.)