Andhra Pradesh

Police, fire staff don’t endorse blocking of roads in villages

It hampers the movement of emergency vehicles, officials say

With the police taking the COVID-19 lockdown seriously, the number of people found riding riding bikes has come down drastically in the last 24 hours all over the district, particularly in the rural areas.

While the police personnel mounting a strict surveillance on the the movement of people on the highways, people in rural areas have reportedly blocked the approach roads to many villages by placing boulders, dumping of sand and thorny bushes. Such incidents were reportedly from villages in Satyavedu, Nagalapuram, Pitchatur, Varadaiahpalem, Piler and Irala mandals.

Concern

The police at Varadaiahpalem expressed serious concern over the the blocking of rural roads by the public. Though the officials said it was a welcome sign that the people were confining themselves to their houses in view of the Covid-19 scare, the road blockades would only lead to adverse results in cases of emergency, they said.

“Such activities hamper the movement of ambulances and fire tenders. Removing of blockades will lead to delayed action and this could eventually lead to events turning tragic,” a police officer said.

Fire cases

District Fire Officer Adinarayana Reddy said with the start of summer, the fire fighting machinery remained fully geared in the district. “Every day, even during this lockdown period, we are attending to six to seven cases requiring our presence. Though, all the incidents were so far small in nature, alertness on our part is need of the hour. It has come to our notice that some people are blocking roads in the rural areas as part of the COVID-19 lockdown. This should go,” he said.

The official said that instead of blocking the roads with thorns, boulders and sand dumps, the people could just arrange a rope across the road to signal the lockdown and non-entry into their villages. “The movement of pregnant women, accident cases and fire tenders will not be hampered then,” he said.

Meanwhile, similar blockades turned into a regular scene in several towns in the district. Some enthusiastic youth placed the drums filled with sand on the streets, apart from boulders and arranging ropes to prevent movement of vehicles.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 1:51:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/police-fire-staff-dont-endorse-blocking-of-roads-in-villages/article31174511.ece

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