In a bid to prevent the influx of people from Andhra Pradesh, authorities of Tamil Nadu’s Vellore district sealed its borders by building makeshift walls on the state highway amid the growing concerns over the spread of the coronavirus disease.
According to a report in Hindustan Times, the walls were erected without taking the Chittoor district authorities into confidence, thus sparking a row.
The walls, measuring three feet in width and five feet in height, was constructed at Gudiyattam village in Vellore district, which shares its border with Chittoor district’s Palamaner block. Chittoor district’s joint collector D. Markandeyulu confirmed erection of the two walls.
Markandeyulu alleged that the Vellore district authorities didn’t consult with their Chittoor counterparts before making the decision.
“Chhitoor district collector N. Bharat Gupta was informed about the erection of the walls by Palamaneru revenue officials on Sunday evening,” said Markandeyulu.
“Vellore is an important town in neighbouring Tamil Nadu and borders Chittoor. Many Telugu-speaking people live there. No inter-state transport or movement of people is being allowed due to the ongoing lockdown restrictions. Besides, there is an inter-state check-post between Vellore and Chittoor. In this context, the abrupt construction of these concrete structures between the two states is strange, unusual, and also unwarranted,” Markandeyulu said, adding that vehicles carrying essential commodities are being allowed between the two states, despite the ongoing lockdown restrictions.
Asked the reason behind the construction of walls, Vellore District Collector A. Shanmuga Sundaram said it was mainly to check unauthorised entry of people like migrant labourers, who use vehicles to enter Tamil Nadu without any valid permission.
Sundaram further said the walls are makeshift and not permanent. "They would be demolished after the lockdown restrictions are lifted," he said.
The walls were built amid the nationwide lockdown restrictions, which were initially enforced for 21 days from March 25 and then further extended for another 19 days till May 3, to rein in the pandemic.moneycontrol