Massive traffic jams in shopping areas

Shoppers defy all Covid-19 safety protocols near Tolichowki in Hyderabad on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

Hours to go before Id-ul-Fitr, massive traffic jams on arterial roads and clogged shopping areas were the norm on Thursday morning prior to the lockdown curfew hour of 10 a.m. Gudimalkapur, Charminar, Toli Chowki, Musheerbad, Monda Market, Moazzam Jahi Market and Begumpet shopping areas were packed with people till at least 10.15 a.m. before the shoppers dispersed and shops were shut. Long stretches of roads were gridlocked including near Hitex, Chaderghat, Langer Houz, Shaikpet, Filmnagar, Osmangunj, Afzalgunj, Nayapul, Musheerabad, Mehdipatnam and Masab Tank.

At Gudimalkapur, which is one of the biggest wholesale and retail vegetable and flower markets in the city, the shoppers and buyers spilled over to the main road near Jyoti Nagar blocking traffic during the morning hours.

“We went for shopping to Kondapur and returned via the service of Outer Ring Road as the traffic in Tolichowki was heavy,” said Swaraj, a resident of Friends Colony. Others were not so lucky.

“I started at Secunderabad to reach a friend’s house in Gachibowli. I am still stuck near Toli Chowki. All stretches of roads are packed. It is difficult to even navigate a two-wheeler between Rethi Bowli and Shaikpet,” said Zubair, a degree student, at 9.45 a.m.

The Charminar area witnessed especially heavy rush with people making last minute festive purchases before disappearing into the inner lanes of the city. Though a large number of people were wearing surgical masks, social distancing norms went for a toss.

The four-hour break in lockdown meant that there was a tizzy with people either trying to buy everything in a hurry and return home creating chaos. While e-commerce deliveries are being allowed unlike the last lockdown, a majority of petrol outlets stayed shut creating a problem for delivery executives who could be seen trying to persuade shop hands to fill their vehicles with fuel. “Petrol outlets can function if they are on the highway. My outlet is open and nobody has asked us to shut the facility,” said a petrol outlet owner in Jubilee Hills area.

However, by 11 a.m. the streets emptied out and police pickets enforced the lockdown by checking documents of all commuters on the roads.

The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board issued a call to the Muslim community to keep Eid simple. “Limit your Id greetings to a verbal one, refrain from handshake or hugs. Wear masks, Leave a gap of one row between rows and a distance of one metre between two worshippers during Id prayers,” says a statement issued by AIMPLB. “We are asking people to pray at home and only a few people will pray at the masjid. There will be no communal prayers,” said Maulana Ghayasuddin Ahmed when asked about Id prayers.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 6:39:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/massive-traffic-jams-in-shopping-areas/article34552294.ece

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