Roads falls silent in southern districts

Superintendent of Police S. Jayakumar warns a bike rider who had come out without a valid reason in Thoothukudi on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: RAJESH N

The Sunday lockdown was total across the southern districts of Tamil Nadu. Police pickets and check posts had come up at vantage locations, especially in areas bordering other districts, officials said.

With the rise in COVID-19 cases, the State government had tightened restrictions since the last two days. Many concessions were either withdrawn or timings were reduced.

All arterial roads and commercial areas in Madurai saw minimal traffic movement as residents stayed indoors. Only those having medical emergencies, and government employees were allowed to travel after they submitted necessary proof. A senior police official said that violators, who were travelling unnecessarily, were charged fine under Section 179 of Motor Vehicles Act.

“Our main aim is to ensure that there is no unnecessary crowding which will lead to spread of more positive cases,” he said.

All shops were closed and only 50% of hotels functioned with take away services being allowed.

Pharmacies and other medical-related operations were also allowed to function.

Those seen on the roads were intercepted by police teams and only after due verification, they were let off, otherwise, they were instructed to return home, Thoothukudi SP Jeyakumar said and added that only milk vendors and pharmacies were open.

In Ramanathapuram, the usually busy markets and temple town Rameswaram wore a deserted look. A large posse of police personnel were deployed at the check posts from Saturday night onwards, said Superintendent of Police E. Karthik.

Beginning Monday, the government has reintroduced the e-pass system. Hence, those travelling from one district to another or from one State to another, have to apply for an e-pass. “Motorists will be taken to task as per the law if there was any violation or negligence,” an officer in Tirunelveli said.

Collectors of Tenkasi, Kanniyakumari and Theni told reporters that surveillance at checkposts bordering Kerala had been stepped up. More number of personnel had been deployed from Sunday onwards as they have to check for e-pass. Health teams have also been deployed to check for COVID-19 and swab tests would be mandatory.

Bodinayakkanur DSP Parthiban said that Bodimettu check post, which was a major intersection point for vehicular movement, has been buttressed with more manpower. Due to the downpour on Saturday night, trees had fallen obstructing vehicular movement and policemen removed them ensuring free flow of traffic, he added.

Likewise, an Inspector of Police at Shencottah in Tenkasi district said that vehicles carrying essential commodities such as milk and vegetables were permitted.

The SPs at Theni, Kanniyakumari and Tenkasi districts also held a review meeting with their officers on the need to deploy additional strength.

As a precautionary measure, a check post has come up at the entry point to the ghat section of Kodaikanal. Residents climbing up have to produce valid document to show that they were residents as tourist entry to Kodaikanal has been banned . At Silver Cascade point, health teams were conducting swab tests, officials said.

In Virudhunagar, senior police officials, led by Superintendent of Police, S. Perumal, supervised police picketing at all important junctions.

“We had barricaded all roads leading to towns from rural areas, so that no unnecessary movement takes place,” said Additional Superintendent of Police, S. Marirajan. Besides, propaganda vehicles with public address system appealing to the people to remain indoors was doing the rounds of the town.

Motorists were advised to return home with a warning after registration number of their vehicles were noted.

Police personnel were posted at ration shops to ensure social distancing as people waited to get ₹ 2,000 COVID special assistance.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 1:45:11 PM |

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