Citizens stay indoors as Bengaluru goes into 36-hour curfew

 thehindu.com  05/24/2020 04:36:15  3

Residents in neighbourhoods across the city thronged shops and commercial establishments for last-minute shopping, hours before the 36-hour lockdown kicked off at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

In a video message, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar said the conditions and restrictions will be similar to that of Lockdown 1.0.

He urged citizens to remain indoors and reiterated that the lockdown would be enforced strictly. Unless absolutely necessary, no one should step out of their homes. Except for some essential services, such as neighbourhood kirana stores, all other shops and establishments will have to remain closed on Sunday, he said. Markets, too, will remain closed for the duration. Movement only in case of medical emergencies will be allowed.

Takeaways at restaurants to continue

Hotels and restaurants that are already offering parcel and delivery services will continue to do so, said Madhukar M. Shetty, secretary, Karnataka State Hotels Association. Citizens were anxious. Hotels and restaurants come under essential service and hence, parcel services will be available, he said.

Transport services

People coming into the city by train and flights on Sunday may have a tough time if they havent already made prior arrangements. Autorickshaws, taxis, BMTC and KSRTC will not be operating during the lockdown. However, BMTC said that they will operate only health and essential (railway) services on Sunday.

Tanveer Pasha from the Ola, Uber Drivers and Owners Association, said that the authorities had only accorded them permission to ply the airport route. We were told clearly that we could accept only airport trips. We will not be allowed to operate in the city for other trips, he said.

Private operators have not cancelled bookings already made for Sunday. Radhakrishna Holla, president, Karnataka State Travel Operators Association, said they will honour advance bookings. The drivers will be able to produce the trip sheet. Passengers, who made bookings, will be answerable, he said. Admitting that the hospitality sector was not consulted, he questioned the rationale behind the announcement of the 36-hour curfew.

Mr. Pasha held a similar opinion, and pointed out that drivers had only recently re-started services after a nearly two-month long lockdown. Though we are on the road for more than 12 hours, the number of trips is very less. At the end of the day, the drivers are able to make just around Rs. 200, after deducting commission of the cab aggregators and fuel charges, he said, adding that the association had urged the authorities concerned to allow them to ply within the city.

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