Bengaluru

Rush to leave city amidst lockdown

While some wanted to go to their native places, others were headed home for Ugadi

Packed private buses and long queues at toll booths were common sights on Monday as hundreds of people made desperate attempts to leave the city. This, even as the government, after efforts to urge citizens to practise social distancing and not venture out, finally announced a complete lockdown of the State by evening.

On Tumakuru Road, people were seen leaving the city by sitting on top of private buses, more than three people on a bike, and some even taking other private vehicles passing by to leave the city. This led to traffic pile-up between Gorguntepalya and the toll gate. “I saw people travelling on top of the bus risking their lives. Though the police were around, no one was stopped the bus. Even on the flyover, traffic piled up,” said Krishna P., who passed Jalahalli on his way to M.G. Road.

While many wanted to leave for their native places as a lockdown had been announced for several districts, including Bengaluru, others were headed to their native places to celebrate Ugadi. Even at Sadahalli Gate, there was a large number of vehicles moving out. A toll executive at Sadahalli toll gate said: “After the outbreak of COVID-19, the number of vehicles passing through the toll gate had reduced. However, on Monday, the number increased considerably. People may be going to celebrate Ugadi or to be with their family during the lockdown,” he said.

As the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) had stopped operating inter-state and intra-state bus services and the South Western Railways had stopped train services to curb the spread of the virus, hundreds of people used private vehicles to leave.

At Bagepalli, the police did not allow private and other vehicles from Karnataka to enter Andhra Pradesh. Videos of the A.P. police restricting entry of vehicles were doing the rounds on social media.

In Tumakuru though, people said many had returned from cities such as Bengaluru out of fear. Software engineer Navyashree T.R. said: “We came in our car to Tavarekere (Sira taluk) from Bengaluru last Friday to celebrate Ugadi with the family. Our company has asked us to work from home. We have decided to stay in our village till March 31.”

Even in Mysuru, the lockdown saw several employees return to their native places.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 12:15:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/rush-to-leave-city-amidst-lockdown/article31146405.ece

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