Please read this post before planning to go to Delhi or neighboring states during the lock-down. We were working from our home in Pune since 2.5 months. It was quite a bit of mixed feeling of frustration and being isolated in one place. Although, I do realise that we are quite blessed that we have a shelter, monthly salary and enough food unlike many others in the difficult times. But we still thought of moving to stay with our aging parents for sometime during these hard times in Uttarakhand. We reached our home safely early this week. It was so swift to take permission from Pune police online. As instructed, we submitted medical fitness certificate to prove that we don’t have covid symptoms, added adhaar number and uploaded a self declaration form to state that we are in living in non containment zone. We got the permission in just 4 hrs.
Route taken: Pune – Mumbai – Surat – Vadodra – Udaipur – Ajmer – Jaipur – New Delhi – Meerut – Roorkee
Total travel time was 29 hrs in our Ecosport – including 4 hrs of total break time from Pune to Roorkee (Haridwar). Total driving distance – 1600 km. We just packed our stuff in the evening and left from Pune at 3 am. We kept enough water, fruits, snacks and food for the next 30 hrs or even more. Crossed Mumbai at 5 am, nobody stopped or checked on us in Maharashtra, maybe because we pasted the digital pass on the windscreen. But still in my opinion, looking at the situation here; there should be some checking on the city and state borders. Gujarat police scanned QR code on our pass, we went through the checking quite fast. They were just stopping people who didn’t had digital pass. The police was very diligent to check if people have mask on or not. But it was saddening to see so many people walking the scorching heat. Also, saw some buses as well taking migrants. I kept wondering is it plain mismanagement or because we have too many people to take care. 😔 We tried to help as many people and animals as possible for us during our journey but it won’t be even a fraction. If you are planning to travel by road, I urge you to carry extra stuff to help the needy on your route.
Rajasthan police also stopped us thrice to check on where are we heading, we had to fill our details in a register each time. There were also multiple camps for people coming from other states. They were getting registered district wise for further journey. I didn’t see much people walking in Rajasthan though. Maybe because there would be less migrants coming to Rajasthan. It was already late evening when we reached Ajmer. We decided to stop on a petrol pump to rest a bit. We were carrying our induction stove and a pan to make maggi. The owner was kind enough to let us do that. We ate our first warm meal of the day and pushed off in 40 mins or so. It was a good break after covering at least 1100 km. After Jaipur, it was already 11 pm and we were bit tired and were looking to stop somewhere. There were lot of dhabas and hotels as well open in Rajasthan (Surprisingly) but it was quite risky to stay somewhere during the pandemic. We finally decided to stop by a busy toll and slept for 3 hrs there, there were other cars and trucks as well parked there.
After a good rest we started again at 2 am something because it was important to cross Delhi early morning because we heard from people that there are long waiting lanes to cross or enter in Delhi and we wanted to avoid any hassle. Surprisingly, reaching on Haryana border (Gurgaon), there were policemen but didn’t stopped us. Nor did Delhi police bothered to do any scrutiny. We crossed a lot of barricades but nobody stopped us or inquired our whereabouts. Saw many people walking again in Delhi area. Reaching UP border (Ghaziabad), nothing at all – same story. Just one police after crossing couple of UP cities inquired.
In few hours, we reached Uttarakhand border. On the border itself we had to under go Covid -19 sampling and thermal screening. We were then asked to go to our home in Roorkee and self quarantine. It was a very prompt and smooth process. I saw a women with two children walking from Haridwar to Jammu. On inquiry from police she said – she is stuck since March, got food and stay but now just want to walk back. She was taken to a camp. It is heartbreaking to see some many people stuck, stranded and hopeless amidst the chaos. Next day, we got our detailed negative report online via sms. Got a call from the civil hospital and the police station as well. Kudos to the administration. I don’t know about whole Uttarakhand but commendable administration by Roorkee city. 👏👏