Tamil Nadu

Ahead of Deepavali, govt. plans to decongest Sunday market

Alarming trend: People thronging the Sunday Market on Mahatma Gandhi Road, throwing all physical distancing norms to the wind. The market opened after nearly six months, following the lockdown.   | Photo Credit: S_S_KUMAR

The administration is evolving a plan to decongest the Sunday market ahead of the Deepavali season to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 at a time when new cases and deaths have been on a downward trend.

According to Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi, a meeting with all stakeholders — Local Administration Department, law enforcement and traders — was proposed to chalk out a plan that would not inconvenience shoppers or ruin trade but at the same time offset a COVID-19 super-spreader eventuality.

Relief and Rehabilitation secretary A. Anbarasu said the thronging of the narrow space by large crowds was untenable during a pandemic.

“We cannot stop people from coming out for shopping during Diwali and neither we can’t allow breach of safety protocols. So, we have to find an alternative to decongest the place,” Mr. Anbarasu said.

The multiple entries and exits pose a challenge from the perspective of crowd control, it was pointed out at the meeting.

The authorities are looking to come up with a clear action plan in the next couple of days. Similarly, plan for regulation of crowd is also being evolved for places that attract high footfall such as places of worship, shopping malls and markets.

According to the Lt. Governor, a team of ICMR experts was expected to visit Puducherry next week for an assessment of the COVID-19 situation and recommend ways to further improve the treatment and prevention fronts.

As part of a proposal for installing CCTV cameras across the city, the LAD and Police department are mooting plans for separate installations under the Smart City and public health (monitoring safety protocol violations) initiatives.

Ms. Bedi placed on record the good work being carried out by doctors and healthcare workers.

The briefing was attended by T. Arun, Health Secretary and District Collector, and special secretary Pankaj Kumar Jha.

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Printable version | Jan 15, 2021 11:05:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/ahead-of-deepavali-govt-plans-to-decongest-sunday-market/article32904491.ece

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