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Weekend curfew: Roads empty, markets shut in Delhi

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Roshneesh Kmaneck
Last updated on: April 17, 2021 18:46 IST
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Roads, markets, buses and metro trains were largely empty on Saturday as the national capital, grappling with soaring COVID-19 cases, observed weekend curfew, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealing to people to adhere to the restrictions.

IMAGE: A man idling his time at a Chandni chowk market during weekend lockdown imposed in the wake of rising covid-19 cases across the country, in New Delhi. Photograph: Atul Yadav/PTI Photo

The weekend curfew, aimed at breaking the chain of spiralling coronavirus infections, was clamped at 10 pm on Friday and will continue till 5 am on Monday.

Apart from those who have been exempted, a majority of Delhiites appeared to have stayed home during the weekend curfew.

 

Only a few passengers were seen travelling on buses and metro trains in the city.

Major markets, including Sadar Bazar, Chandni Chowk, Connaught Place, Khari Baoli and Karol Bagh, and industrial areas like Bawana, Narela, Okhla, wore a deserted look during the day.

IMAGE: Laxmi Nagar area wears a deserted look, during weekend lockdown imposed in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases across the country, in New Delhi. Photograph: Vijay Verma/PTI Photo

Brijesh Goel, chairman of the Chamber of Trade and Industry, said the traders followed the Delhi government's direction on the new restrictions completely.

"All the wholesale and retail markets and factories in the city were closed. The weekend curfew was 100 per cent successful. We had talked to our traders and sought their support to the move.

"Traders will also follow any other measure the government takes to check the spread of COVID-19," Goel said.

IMAGE: Closed shops at Vikas Marg, during weekend lockdown imposed in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases across the country, in New Delhi. Photograph: Vijay Verma/PTI Photo

However, there was exception near facilities like the LNJP Hospital, GTB Hospital, AIIMS and ISBTs --- Kashmiri Gate, Anand Vihar and Sarai Kale Khan, where people were seen taking the public transport.

Those going to inter-sate bus terminals, airports and railway stations, have been exempted from the weekend curfew if they show valid tickets.

On Saturday, shops providing essential services, including pharmacies, grocery stores, food outlets and banks, remained open.

IMAGE: A man sits outside shuttered shops during weekend lockdown imposed in the wake of rising covid-19 cases across the country, in New Delhi. Photograph: Atul Yadav/PTI Photo

Food delivery service agents were also seen on the roads as the Delhi Disaster Management Authority has given permission to restaurants for home delivery services.

A senior transport department officer said buses ran almost empty as only those associated with essential services and having valid e-pass were allowed to board.

"Metro services are running smoothly and all those who are authorised to travel as per the exemptions from the DDMA, are being allowed," a DMRC spokesperson said.

"The headway of 15 minutes being maintained in the main lines," he said.

Shahdul, 35, an auto-rickshaw driver looking for passengers at Green Park, said there are not many passengers on the roads from Saturday morning. "Due to the curfew, there are not many passengers today. I have got two bookings since the morning," he said.

Chandu Chaurasia, vice president of Capital Drivers Welfare Association, alleged that police stopped last mile connectivity vehicles like 'gramin sewa' and 'phatphat sewa' vehicles at many areas although there was no order to not allow such vehicles during the weekend curfew.

The Delhi Police set up checkpoints at various points to ensure movement of only those who have been exempted by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority.

Chinmoy Biswal, Delhi Police PRO, said all the district deputy commissioners of police were on the ground to ensure the implementation of weekend curfew.

IMAGE: Passangers wait to board buses for their native places at Kaushambi Bus Terminal, during weekend lockdown imposed in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases across the country, in Ghaziabad. Photograph: Vijay Verma/PTI Photo

"The movement of essential goods and services is being facilitated. We have placed banners on pickets and outside the gates of the colonies to tell people about the curfew and asked them not to come outside their houses unnecessarily.

"We are also monitoring the COVID helpline and assisting people who are facing difficulty in getting movement pass," Biswal said.

On Friday, police had warned people venturing out of homes without valid reasons during the weekend curfew would face arrest and prosecution for violating anti-COVID regulations.

Delhi recorded its highest-ever one-day COVID-19 figures on Friday when 19,486 cases and 141 deaths were reported, prompting Chief Minister Kejriwal to order setting up more coronavirus facilities and increase the strength of oxygen beds.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Roshneesh Kmaneck© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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