‘Roads deserted, only medical shops and petrol bunks open’

Tirunelveli-Thoothukudi four-lane track in Palayamkottai wears a deserted look on Sunday.

Tirunelveli-Thoothukudi four-lane track in Palayamkottai wears a deserted look on Sunday.

With a total lockdown imposed on Sunday for the second consecutive week, arterial roads, bus stand, markets and residential areas wore a deserted look in southern districts.

Barring medical shops, hospitals and petrol bunks, all other establishments were closed. A few restaurants had take-away services.

The State government had announced a series of restrictions on movement of people after a steep rise in the number of COVID-19 cases across Tamil Nadu.

A few tea stalls and road side vendors near hospitals operated. Those who were moving on two-wheelers and four-wheelers were intercepted by police, who allowed the motorists to proceed after they were convinced of the reasons for their travel. Many youngsters were given a warning and sent back to their homes, a police officer on Thoothukudi - Palayamkottai Road said.

Superintendent of Police S. Jayakumar, who monitored the bandobust arrangements, told reporters that around 1,600 personnel were deployed on special duty. Besides 68 check posts, including those in the city limits, fines were imposed on 12,000 people for various violations during the last fortnight and Rs 26 lakh was collected.

At a time, when the government had taken measures to administer vaccines to prevent the spread of the virus, he appealed to eligible people to cooperate and help fight the pandemic.

In Thoothukudi, fishermen, salt pan workers and many casual workers at the port and other industrial estates remained indoors.

In Tirunelveli district, except for movement of essential goods such as milk and newspapers, a majority of the sectors remained shut on Sunday. Papanasam and Agasthiyar waterfalls, which received crowds from neighbouring towns, was shut for public entry.

With shrines being closed since Friday, the usually busy Nellaiappar Swamy Temple area was completely deserted. Likewise, normal life was hit in Melapalayam, Thatchanallur, Kalakkad, Valliyur, Nanguneri, Ambasamudram, Kallidaikurichi, Vikramasingapuram and other pockets in the peripheries.

In Kanniyakumari district, too, the lockdown was complete and movement of trucks on the national highway was intensified. Vehicles coming from Kerala were thoroughly checked and only essential commodities were allowed entry at Kaliyakavilai check-post, police said.

Widespread rain in Tenkasi district during the last 24 hours resulted in people staying indoors. There was also rain in Karuppanadhi, Gundar, Shencottah and Adavinainar and other pockets, PWD officials said and added that the waterfall at Courtallam was thin on Sunday.

With no tourists being allowed, a skeleton strength of personnel was posted on bandobust duty, they added.

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Printable version | May 23, 2022 6:06:01 am |