Hundreds of people who set off from Hyderabad, the capital of neighbouring Telangana, to various districts in Andhra Pradesh were stranded on Wednesday afternoon 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, as he blamed lack of coordination between the two states' authorities for the situation.
Local Deputy Superintendent of Police, Ramana Murthy said since the lockdown was in force and the inter-state borders have been sealed, no vehicle or person could be allowed into the state.
The stranded passengers faced hardship as 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-ups 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.
After a smooth ride up to Garikapadu, the border between the two states, the vehicles were stopped around 3.30 pm, leaving the passengers stranded.
"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 person 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 took up the stranded passengers' case with the police but to no avail.
"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 journey further 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 due protocol.
ఆంధ్రప్రదేశ్ రాష్ట్ర సరిహద్దులోని గరికపాడు చెక్ పోస్ట్ దగ్గర ఇబ్బందిపడుతున్న విద్యార్ధులు మరియు ఉద్యోగుల సమస్యని కృష్ణా జిల్లా కలెక్టర్ గారితో చర్చించడం జరిగింది.వెంటనే అక్కడ ఉన్న వారికి ఆహారం మరియు త్రాగునీరు ఏర్పాట్లు చేసి సమస్యను వీలైనంత త్వరగా పరిష్కరిస్తానని ఆయన హామీ ఇచ్చారు pic.twitter.com/uWJrYIdgHZ— Devineni Avinash (@DevineniAvi) March 25, 2020
Taking to Twitter, PV Ramesh, Additional Chief Secretary to Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, said that the state government had ordered quick movement of those stranded at the Andhra Pradesh border, duly adhering to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in place.
"No further movement across the border. Appeal to all to stay where you are," he added.
@AndhraPradeshCM, @ysjagan has ordered quick movement of those currently stranded at the #AP border, duly adhering to the SOPs. No further movement across the boarder. Appeal to all to stay where you are and don’t cross the Lakshman Rekha!— PV Ramesh (@RameshPV2010) March 25, 2020
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.”
After tonight, request all in #Hyderbad to stay put till further instructions & not try to cross border. Not safe. @TelanganaCMO KCR garu’s Govt has issued order so that u will not have any probs w hostels. @KTRTRS @AndhraPradeshCM @ArogyaAndhra @dgpapofficial @TelanganaDGP— S. Rajiv Krishna (@RajivKrishnaS) March 25, 2020
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.
With inputs from PTI