Tiruchirapalli

Delta region enters lockdown as Section 144 comes into force

Grounded: Buses belonging to Tamil Nadu Transport Services Corporation parked at a depot in Tiruchi after public transport services were withdrawn on Tuesday.

Grounded: Buses belonging to Tamil Nadu Transport Services Corporation parked at a depot in Tiruchi after public transport services were withdrawn on Tuesday.  

Assembly of more than five persons in public places prohibited; Gandhi Market in Tiruchi to function as usual; travel to be permitted only in emergency situations

Promulgating Section 144 under the Cr.PC in Tiruchi district, Collector S. Sivarasu on Tuesday said residents would not be allowed to venture out of their homes except for buying essential commodities or in emergency situations.

Speaking to reporters, he said the prohibitory order had been promulgated under extraordinary circumstances arising out of fast spreading COVID-19 pandemic. Assembly of more than five persons was not permitted in public places. Police had powers to take action against violators.

Mr. Sivarasu said there was no need for panic buying as Gandhi Market would function as usual. There was no bar on lorries and trucks transporting vegetables, fruits and vegetables to the market. Grocery stores, oil and other merchants could transact business as usual. However, they should not give room for over-crowding.

He said hospitals, dispensaries, clinics, chemist shops, optical stores, oxygen cylinder units, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment service units, health related manufacturing units, including masks and sanitation products manufacturing units, would function as usual..

Food articles such as rice, pulses, edible oil, spices and condiments, processed food, milk, bread, fruit, meat, eggs, fish and other essential and perishable products could be transported. Similarly, there were no issues in selling and transportation of dairy and items required for poultry such as feed and fodder.

Mr. Sivarasu said that each and every individual had a responsibility to join hands with stakeholders to contain the spread of the virus. They should cooperate with the government.

Under no circumstances, they should indulge in partying and get-together. Social distancing and hand hygiene were key elements in containing the virus from community spreading, he emphasised.

Thanjavur

Thanjavur town on Tuesday eased into the curfew slowly with roads witnessing substantial movement of vehicles and people even after 6 p.m., when the State government enforced curfew across Tamil Nadu.

Though police teams were seen moving around the town from 5.30 p.m., announcing that the prohibitory orders would come into effect at the stroke of 6 p.m., several commercial establishments, particularly snacks, flower-vending and juice shops, tried to extend their business hours by a few minutes. However, they received a stern warning from the patrolling teams.

Public transport, including autorickshaws, went off the road by 7 p.m. When intercepted by the police, some of the autorickshaw drivers could be seen pleading that they were headed for their shed or house and that the passengers would be dropped enroute.

Once the curfew period began, most of the eateries started shutting down service and encouraged customers to accept food parcels as directed by the State government. But the tea shops had wind up business as they could not offer tea in parcel since the use of plastic covers had been banned.

“I must think twice before lifting the shutters of my shop tomorrow since it will be hard to comply with the crowd restriction rule in this business,” said Ramu, who runs a tea-cum-snacks shop at Mangalapuram on Medical College Road.

On the other hand, Mallika, who runs a kiosk near Municipal Colony on the same road, said she was hopeful that she could carry on with her business since the flow of customers to her shop always remained normal in view of the nature of goods available for sale at her outlet.

Meanwhile, Collector M. Govinda Rao in his capacity as District Magistrate promulgated an order under Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code on Tuesday evening prohibiting congregation in public places in the interest of public health and quarantining all suspected cases of COVID-19 and foreign returnees for such a period and in such a manner as decided by local health officials.

Tiruvarur

A similar order was issued by Tiruvarur Collector T. Anand on Tuesday evening announcing the clampdown of curfew in Tiruvarur.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 11:50:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/delta-region-enters-lockdown-as-section-144-comes-into-force/article31157200.ece

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