Day 3 of lockdown: Chennai looks like no-man’s land

Chennai: The 21-day long nation-wide lock down to combat spread of coronavirus and to maintain social distancing is near total in Chennai and other parts of  Tamilnadu on the third day today.

Life came to a standstill, roads were deserted as public and private transport vehicles did not ply, though essential services like groceries,vegetables, milk, fish and meat stalls, electricity, hospitals and water supply were maintained.

Several road side tea shops, which were open till Wednesday, were asked to shut shops till further orders, while petrol bunks remained open. People, who ventured out of their houses in several parts of the State, were asked to return home by the police personnel.

Chennai City Police Commissioner A K Viswanathan said police will seize bikes of motorists who venture out in violation of prohibitory orders, barring those who come under exempted category, to ensure strict enforcement of curfew.

“We are happy with the cooperation from the public. Barring a few, most of them have once again proved that they are law abiding citizens. We seek their cooperation in the days to come too,” said a top police officer.

As the lockdown would affect the livelihood of people of low income group, Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami unveiled a Rs 3,280 crore relief package to daily wage labourers, auto drivers, construction and unorganised sector workers, roadside vendors, besides Rs 1,000 to every ration card holder in the
state along with free rice, sugar, edible oil and dhal.

The lockdown started in line with the Chief Minister’s announcement in the State Assembly after reviewing the situation in the wake of Centre notifying three districts (Chennai, Erode and Kancheepuram) to lockdown. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced lockdown across the country.

As part of the heightened restrictive measures, prohibitory orders were clamped under Sec 144 of CrPc across the State to strictly implement the measures taken by the government. Hotels were allowed to open only for delivery of parcels, while all Amma Unavagams (subsidised canteens) run by the Greater Chennai Corporation continued to function.


NT Bureau