Lockdown restrictions come into force in Coimbatore

Retail outlets on Cross Cut Road in the city downed shutters by 5 p.m. on Monday.   | Photo Credit: SIVA SARAVANAN S

Almost all the retail outlets in the Coimbatore city downed shutters in the evening in compliance with the new restrictions issued by the District Collector to control the spread of COVID-19.

By 5 p.m. almost all the shops started asking customers to leave and were rolling down the shutters as they had to close business early. Hotels had stopped dining service, gearing up for parcel service till 9 p.m. However, roadside tea shops, small eateries, and pushcarts selling food saw brisk business and in several tea shops there were crowds outside the outlets. Though hotels were permitted to offer parcel service, some eateries decided not to do so.

Federation of Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sanghams appealed to the District Collector to permit grocery outlets to function from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. since essential items such as milk and vegetables were sold at the shops.

Coimbatore Corporation on Monday slapped ₹2,000 as fine on a tea shop in Race Course for violating COVID-19 safety guideline. The civic body in a communique said as the management flouted the guideline, it imposed the fine and also removed all temporary structures in front of the shop.

The day also saw the Corporation officials go around the commercial areas of the city to enforce the new restriction put in place by the district administration to prevent the infection spread. Collector G.S. Sameeran had said that starting August 2 all shops barring those selling milk, vegetables and medicines should close down by 5 p.m.

The announcement it appeared had not reached the shopkeepers who kept their premises open. A few of them on commercial streets adopted a wait and watch approach by keeping the shutters half-open.

A few others, however, continued to serve customers as usual. The Corporation officials along with Coimbatore City Police personnel went around all the busy streets like Cross Cut Road, D.B. Road, 100 Feet Road and others asking the shopkeepers to shut shops.

The Corporation officials said there was lack of clarity in the new guideline as it was not clear if grocery shops could be kept open beyond 5 p.m. Therefore, they allowed those grocery shops that also sold vegetables to remain open.

The enforcement was lax on interior roads and in layouts as neighbourhood shops were open even after the 5 p.m. deadline.

The Corporation officials said Monday being the first day, they were asking the shopkeepers to fall in line with the new restriction. Starting Tuesday, they would start levying fines on those shops that were kept open beyond 5 p.m.

The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department said that the entrance to the Padithurai (ghat) near the Perur Patteeswarar temple was closed on Monday to prevent devotees from entering. Officials said that the temple was closed for devotees for three days on Sunday as part of the COVID-19 restrictions, but a few devotees were found entering the Padithurai. Following this, the HR&CE Department informed the Perur Town Panchayat staff, who closed the entrance on Monday, the officials said.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 9:01:16 AM |

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