Coimbatore

Coimbatore goes into complete lockdown

The usually busy Avinashi Road in the city wears a deserted look on Tuesday.

The usually busy Avinashi Road in the city wears a deserted look on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: M. Periasamy

Workers head home; shops and factories close across district; vehicles keep off the roads

On Tuesday morning, Mani, a construction worker and Kaliappan, who was employed in a petrol bunk, were waiting outside the Gandhipuram bus stand to take a bus to their home towns near Dharmapuri.

As industries and shops closed down from Tuesday for the lockdown, workers from different parts of the State who were working in Coimbatore were trying to take buses and private vehicles to go back to their villages.

By evening, the city and mofussil bus stands were almost empty, even by 5.30 p.m. shops in Gandhipuram, one of the main commercial centres, were closed, and the streetside flower, fruit and vegetable vendors had returned home. The police were on patrol, asking all the shops to down shutters, helping the public take the last buses to reach home, and assuring the public that essential services will be available.

Vendors who sell tea and samosas on their two wheelers were hurrying back, and only a few vehicles were on the road.

Meena and 18 more people from Harur in Dharmapuru used to work in Kerala, breaking stones.

Though there was no transportation facility between Kerala and Coimbatore, all of them managed to reach the city on Tuesday evening, minutes before the lock down. They were looking for a private transport facility to reach their village.

“We usually work for two months a year in Kerala and and rest of the months at our agricultural lands in the village. We would have stayed back in Kerala for one more month. But, had to leave because of the Corona fever (COVID-19),” she said.

A retired postal department employee, who is currently working as a security at Kovaipudur, had reached the Gandhipuram bus stand from Koundampalayam. But he had no bus to reach his workplace.

Two vendors selling bananas on a push cart said they had no option but to dump the remaining fruits, losing nearly ₹2,000.

“What will do for food. We are from Karaikudi. We cant go back home as we have nothing to do there. So we decided to stay back in Coimbatore. If everything is closed, what will we do for food?” one of them asked.

All the main roads of the city saw vehicle movement dwindling and retail establishments closed well before 6 pm. The normally busy Avinashi Road was as good as deserted by 6 p.m.

As the police stepped up patrolling, urging people to stay indoors, and vehicles kept off the road, the city went into complete lock down.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 8:11:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/coimbatore-goes-into-complete-lockdown/article31157332.ece

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