Lockdown 3.0: Traffic jams, guideline violations mark first day


IMPHAL,4th May: The first day of the third phase of nationwide lockdown over COVID-19 witnessed traffic jams and lockdown guidelines violations in various areas of the state on Monday.
Both people and vehicular movement increased as many people scrambled to buy essential items or run errands, after the curfew was fixed from 6pm to 6am.
Although the three markets at Khwairamband keithel and Ngari Galli (alley) did not open, other markets including Paona Bazar and Thangal Bazar were opened for business. Many shoppers failed to adhere to lockdown guidelines or maintain social distancing, as they seem to be focussed on buying their goods.
In addition, vehicular movement of two wheelers, heavy vehicles and passenger vehicles were seen on the roads. Apart from witnessing three people on two wheelers, many drivers/riders were also seen moving about without wearing masks.
Most of the traffic jams were witnessed at Keishampat junction, in front of Kangla gate and Nityaipat Chuthek areas.
Even though an order issued by chief secretary Dr Suresh Babu had informed that the lockdown would be relaxed from 6am to 4pm every day, Thoubal district witnessed the relaxation only till 1pm on Monday as there is no new order issued from the office of Deputy Commissioner of Thoubal.
During the relaxation hours, many people came out to buy their requirements from the markets just like normal days.
Huge numbers of vehicles could be seen on National Highway 102, major district and inter-village roads. Even diesel autos carrying passengers were seen plying during the relaxation hours.
Government employees of the district also attended their respective offices like ordinary days.
However, the OPD services at the lone hospital of the district remained closed.
Upon enquiring for closure of OPD, officials of the district hospital informed that even though Manipur chief secretary issued order for relaxation of the lockdown, the hospital is still closed due to the previous directives of the director of health services. Only after guidelines are issued by higher authority, can the hospital be opened, the official added.
Petrol pumps also remained closed for the general people for the day, but those with permits issued by district administration were allowed to fill in their tanks.
Mention may be made here that oil pump owners claimed that oil tankers find it difficult to unload the oil in the petrol pumps as the stock is already full as the general people are not allowed to fill.
Meanwhile, our Kangpokpi correspondent informed that a meeting of the District Disaster Management Authority was held at conference hall, DC Office Kangpokpi on Monday to deliberate over imminent return of many people stranded outside the state.
Social welfare and cooperation minister Nemcha Kipgen, who is also the in-charge minister of Kangpokpi and Senapati districts, and Saikul MLA Yamthong Haokip were present in the meeting chaired by District Disaster Management Authority chairman and DC Kangpokpi Lalithambigai Kalidas.
Kangpokpi district’s additional DC Lalramsang Infimate, chief medical officer Dr T Nilakanta Singh, Addl SP (Ops) Lalminlen Misao, AC to DC Kaigoulal Kipgen, all sub-divisional officers, medical officers, DSO, officials from MHA and KSO Sadar Hills leaders also attended the meeting.
Setting up of more institutional quarantine centres, community quarantine centres, the present condition of stranded migrants in the district and assessment of Kangpokpi people stranded across the country and abroad were deliberated minutely during the meeting.
The SDOs of the Institutional Quarantine Centres put up the expenditure details while SDOs of Champhai, Kangpokpi, Saikul and Saitu-Gamphazol submitted the expenditure for setting up of Institutional Quarantine Centres in their respective sub divisions.
The meeting resolved that all necessary requirements for the new Institutional Quarantine Centres will be ensured on time and made functional at the earliest. 

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