Despite the fact that the tag of containment was removed a fortnight ago from Bapu Dham Colony (BDC), Sector 26, colony residents including students are still battling to get full access to other parts of Chandigarh.
Localities, where entry of colony residents is restricted, included Chandigarh Police Lines, Sector 26, which is situated at a distance of merely 50 meters from the colony.
Senior police officers maintain that the police lines-26 is a sensitive area, with over 1500 government quarters for police personnel and entry of outsiders except those coming for necessary work is not allowed. There are four entry gates for the Police Lines- 26, three out of which are closed.
Visitors, local residents and cops posted in the police lines-26 are permitted to enter/exit through only one gate, Gate Number-3.
Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS), and the timber market-26, are also situated inside the police lines. The school has been closed for the last four months, after a nationwide curfew was imposed in March.
“My mathematics tutor lives in Police Lines- 26. I used to take coaching from him prior before my class 10 exam. My result was not declared. Although I am reading online about math and science, I want to take coaching for the syllabus of class XI. I tried to enter the Police Lines- 26 to enquire about my tutor but was stopped at the entry gate. The guard on the gate was ready to allow me enter but the moment I disclosed my residential address, the guard declined. He told me that people from BDC-26 are not allowed,” said Akansha Devi, a student of class 10 at GMSSS-26, who lives in phase-1, Bapu Dham.
Shivani Arora, another class 10 student but from a different school encountered the same situation. Shivani’s tutor also stays in Police Lines- 26.
“I tried to enter police lines-26 a few days back but was stopped at the gate. The guards did not allow me to enter because I am a resident of Bapu Dham Colony,” she said.
The two students conveyed their sufferings to the police personnel of Sector 26 police station and Bapu Dham police post-26.
When contacted, SP Manoj Kumar Meena, looking after the charge of Police Lines- 26, said, “It is not specific to the people of Bapu Dham Colony-26. We are not allowing the entry of any outsiders except those who come for urgent work. Police Line is a sensitive area. It contains residential complexes, police training institute, armoury, a police hospital etc. The decision to not allow outsiders is in the larger interest.”
BDC-26 councillor, Dalip Sharma, said, “There is different perspective of seeing people from BDC-26, which was once declared a hotspot for Covid-19. Most parts of the colony were sealed and declared containment. But even after the colony was de-sealed as per the guidelines of the Health Ministry, people have adopted a different attitude towards the colony residents.”
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