The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to convene a meeting with states of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to evolve a common policy and procedure for movement of commuters between the three states of the National Capital Region. While the Centre said that the decision to open or close state borders rested with respective states, the top court has asked states to arrive at a common ground and decide in a week’s time.
The Supreme Court was hearing a petition challenging the decisions of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh administrations, claiming it was “unconstitutional” on their part to restrict movement for permissible activities in areas falling within the NCR through “blanket orders of sealing borders without reasonable exceptions”.
Earlier the Uttar Pradesh government had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that it was cautiously allowing only registered entries into the state, and at present there is no such situation that all people can be allowed to come to Delhi. The affidavit stated: “More important than money and industry, is the health of the people. There is no messing with the health of people. We believe that if the movement is fully opened in this period of pandemic, it can cause trouble… People of NCR cannot be given an open freedom to travel to Delhi.”
Weighing public health over money, the state government had then compared the presence of 293 Covid-positive people in Noida to over 11,000 cases in Delhi, despite a much smaller population.