Consequently, highways and major roads in the districts saw increased movement of personal modes of transport along with goods vehicles in the early hours.
Twin districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi went into the government enforced fortnight lockdown intended to break the spread of COVID-19 pandemic from 10 a.m. on Wednesday with personnel from police, revenue and local bodies ensuring shops selling essential commodities were closed and people remained indoors.
The four-hour window offered to people to buy essentials witnessed hectic movement of vehicles and people across important cities and towns in the districts, including Mangaluru, Udupi, Puttur, Bantwal, Karkala, Kundapura and other places. Those working in essential services made use of the window to reach their workplaces in the absence of any kind of public transport. Consequently, highways and major roads in the districts saw increased movement of personal modes of transport along with goods vehicles in the early hours.
Police personnel erected barricades across major roads and junctions in Mangaluru and Udupi cities after the 10 a.m. window to curtail unnecessary movement of people. Both district administrations had asked those intending to get inoculated against COVID-19 to visit their nearest health centres and cautioned against wandering in the guise of vaccination.
Crew of public transport vehicles, including buses, autorickshaws and taxis, parked their vehicles following total curb on public transport. Drivers and conductors of these vehicles were seen worried over the life during the fortnight with no income. Similar was the situation of daily income earners, namely, tailors, dhobis, hairdressers, mechanics, pushcart vendors and others, who had to shut their operation following the lockdown.
With ban on movement of public transport vehicles in the State, inter-State bus operations were limited to State borders. Private and RTC buses from Kerala plied till Talapady on Karnataka-Kerala border off Mangaluru to drop and pick up passengers. However, there were very few passengers as almost all the activities have come to standstill in Karnataka.
Meanwhile, Railways has cancelled services of Mangaluru-Mumbai LTT-Mangaluru Matsyagandha Express from April 29/30 and Madgaon-Mangaluru-Madgaon DEMU from April 29.
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