Lockdown relaxations put an end to a quiet fortnight

People and vehicles back on roads in huge numbers

As the COVID-19-induced lockdown relaxations came into force on Monday, all arterial roads in Tirunelveli were full of vehicles and people again.

As the Tamil Nadu government has allowed some relaxations after fortnight-long intensified lockdown, all standalone grocery, vegetable, meat, fish, vehicle spare parts, hardware and electrical shops, two-wheeler mechanic shops and garages attracted crowds since morning. Huge crowds without physical distancing could be seen in front of all grocery shops in Gandhi Market in Palayamkottai.

When mobile phone shops, footwear showrooms, photocopying shops, fancy stores, etc., started transacting business using the relaxations, the police and corporation officials asked the owners to close down their shops as they had not been allowed to open. However, all these shops in interior roads functioned as usual.

Barring buses, all other vehicles were plying as usual as permission had been given for operation of autorickshaws and taxis with e-registration. Similarly, ‘own use’ vehicles were also seen in large numbers on all the roads. Even though they were stopped at checkpoints by the police, most of them they managed to continue their journey.

Similar situation prevailed in neighbouring Thoothukudi district also where hundreds of vehicles could be seen on Beach Road, VE Road and Great Cotton Road.

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