Back To Square One! Despite Lockdown For Coronavirus, Social Distancing Norms Up In Smoke In Odisha Capital
Bhubaneswar: A day after the pan-India Janta Curfew and the implementation of lockdown in major cities of Odisha received massive support with people staying indoors as a precautionary measure to fight the spread of novel-Coronavirus, people in the State capital and several other locked-down parts of Odisha were seen blatantly flouting the social distancing norms on Monday.
Several parts of Bhubaneswar witnessed usual traffic jam with people seen waiting at traffic posts with their vehicles even though the State government has asked people to avoid non-essential travel as much possible and also ordered to shut operations of various types of business establishments.
A day after pan-India #JantaCurfew & implementation of #lockdown in major cities of #Odisha in view of #COVID19outbreak, Bhubaneswar witnesses usual traffic jam. Police monitoring the situation & allowing only essential travel. #coronavirusinindia #Covid19India pic.twitter.com/gMHG8Re3ms
— OTV (@otvnews) March 23, 2020
The government has already issued strict guidelines to ensure implementation of social distancing norms to avoid spread of the Covid-19 in the State.
As part of its efforts, the Commissionerate Police has also announced to issue pass to commuters to help them continue their essential and emergency services during the lockdown period till March 29. On the other hand, Twin City Police Commissioner Sudhansu Sarangi has urged everyone to refrain from stepping out of their homes if it is not necessary and minimise social interaction.
A day after Janata Curfew, as people may have to go out for urgent work, Sarangi has urged them to take pass while going to bus stand, railway station or airport.
“We are in a period of shutdown till 29th. Please avoid unnecessary travel. Walk down to nearby shop to buy grocery and vegetables. Don’t visit anyone or be visited by anyone. Please minimise social interaction and maintain social distance,” tweeted Sarangi.
People working in different offices have been asked to carry their identity cards and inform police by dialling 100 in case they have to travel urgently.
The Commissioner said that special arrangements have been done to issue pass to those people during the lockdown period and has warned that action will be taken against those who violate guidelines.
Meanwhile, inter-state bus service has been suspended in Odisha. Subroto Bagchi, chief spokesperson of Odisha government on COVID-19, said inter-state buses coming from other states will not be allowed to reach their destination in Odisha after 11 AM on March 23.
Similarly, no inter-state bus will be allowed to operate to other state from Odisha after 11 AM on March 23.
However, the State government has decided that all permitted goods vehicles will be allowed to move unhindered during the lockdown period.
The Odisha government has formed a state-level monitoring unit on goods and services. The committee shall assess requirements and monitor flow of goods and take actions to remove bottlenecks if any. It will also create a platform to facilitate traders and transporters to take up their issues and resolve the same, said Bagchi.
There won’t be any restriction on the movement of permitted goods which includes coal and other minerals to ensure smooth supply chain, he added.
On the other hand, the State government has issued a toll free number 15535 for complaints regarding supply of items to consumers during the lockdown period.