The city went into high alert starting Tuesday as the state government and city corporation is apprehensive of community spread, taking into account the recent spike in positive cases in the city. The main roads to Manacaud, Attukal, Kalady, and Attakulangara have been blocked and police have barricaded all the byroads in these areas. The Fort police registered four cases on Tuesday afternoon for lockdown violation in containment zones The Collector had already listed Kalady junction, Attukal, Manacaud junction, Chiramukku-Kalady road, and Iranimuttom as containment zones on June 19. With the new restrictions, a person commuting from Vizhinjam-Kovalam area needs to take the Enchakkal bypass road to travel towards East Fort, as the roads from Thiruvallom and Kumarichantha have been closed. This has put the commuters in a pickle.
Though malls, shopping centres, and markets in Palayam and Chalai were expected to function with only half the shops opening each day, the majority of the shops in the city were fully functional on Tuesday. As the source of infection is unknown for the recent positive cases, people have been wary of using the public transport, resulting in most of the KSRTC buses running with no passengers on Tuesday.
People traveling from the containment zones were sent back by the police on Tuesday and those moving within the containment zones were also restricted. Very few shops supplying essentials remained open. “All the main roads are sealed. We cannot go to Attukal or Manacaud junction due to police barricades,” says Ramachandran Nair, secretary, Manacaud Sastha Nagar Residents Association (MSNRA). He adds that the situation is similar to the first lockdown, as the majority of the shops are shut and people are unable to commute. “We have to travel till South Fort via Puthen street to buy essentials.
Looks like the restrictions here are getting worse even as the rest of the state is returning to normalcy,” he says.The road from Chiramukku to Government Homoeopathic Medical College, Iranimuttom, and the Bund road that lead to PRS Hospital, Killipalam, are still open. “People have taken the restrictions seriously and only a few shops are opening in the area. The police have closed all the byroads leading to the containment zones and two or three officers are posted at all junctions to supervise. Also, regular patrolling is being carried out to ensure that there are no violations,” said Manju G S, ward councilor, Kalady.
However, many traders in the containment zones are in crisis as they were forced to shut down abruptly. “Though we are allowed to open the shop, no business will happen,” says N Saji, who runs a wayside shop in Attakulangara. “The business was getting back on track after the lockdown was lifted. Now, we have to close it down for two more weeks. These sudden restrictions are affecting our business, but we have to get used to this,” he adds.
The police officials stationed at different junctions in the city implies the Corporation’s decision to tighten the security measures in the city. Six cases of lockdown violations in the containment zone were registered at Fort police station on Monday. “People are cooperating with the situation. However, some, especially youngsters, are seen outside not wearing masks. Few shops outside the containment zone are not adhering to social distancing norms too. They will be made to close on time and unwanted movements and crowding will be curbed. All auto-rickshaw drivers have been asked to note down the details of all passengers using their service,” said Rajesh, circle inspector, Fort police station.
With the new restrictions, a person commuting from Vizhinjam-Kovalam area needs to take the Enchakkal bypass road to travel towards East Fort, as the roads from Thiruvallom and Kumarichantha have been closed.
bleak days ahead
“Though we are allowed to open the shop, no business will happen,” says N Saji, who runs a wayside shop in Attakulangaran, about the unexpected lockdown that fell on the city