Near empty roads as national capital enters weekend curfew mode
A view of a deserted road in Delhi as a weekend curfew began on Friday night to help contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, on April 17, 2021.Wasim Sarvar/IANS

Near empty roads as national capital enters weekend curfew mode

London, April 17, 2021

The streets of the national capital wore a deserted look on Saturday with only vehicles linked to providing essential services plying on the roads as the first day of the weekend curfew set in in Delhi amid rising Covid scare.

Unlike the hustle and bustle of the big city usually seen on normal days, the traffic was missing from the National Highways passing through the city, Ring Roads, and streets connecting markets, railway stations and bus depots.

Besides the movement of DTC buses, taxis, autorickshaws (mostly running without passengers), some motorcycles and a few private vehicles linked to essential services were seen on the city roads.

A large posse of Delhi Police personnel deputed at the crucial points across the city were ensuring that only people with valid passes were allowed to move in their vehicles.

With the weekend curfew coming into effect from 10 p.m. on Friday, business establishments across the national capital had downed their shutters well before the appointed hour. The curfew will be in force till 5 a.m. on Monday.

In order to break the chain of Covid-19 infections, the Delhi government had on Thursday ordered the imposition of weekend curfew in the city till April 30, with exemptions for essential service providers.

In Delhi, which is among the top 10 states/Union Territories (UTs) recording the highest number of new Covid cases in the second wave of the pandemic in the country, all shops, restaurants, pubs and commercial establishments across the city were shut much before 9.30 p.m. on Friday, with all the major markets such as Connaught Place, Khan Market, Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, Khari Bawli, Chandani Chowk and Karol Bagh wearing a deserted look.

Traffic thinned out after 10 p.m. on Friday and similar scenes were witnessed on Saturday with senior police officers monitoring the situation.

Various flyovers across the city were closed for traffic while many localities connected to the main roads were closed with barricades fixed by the police to stop the movement of people.

Home Guards and civil defence officials along with the police and marshals have been deployed at the bus stops, railways stations, key markets, and some specific public places as well as few intersections to ensure full compliance of the weekend curfew.

People moving on the roads had to show valid ID cards which have been allowed during the curfew.

Most of the hotels around the city also shut delivery services as the staff were asked to vacate the premises. Very few cabs and autos were seen plying on the roads, and many people going to the railway stations or ISBTs faced difficulties in getting a cab on time.

All entry and exit points to Delhi have almost been sealed. Double roads have been converted to single-carriageways while barricades have been put up at many places.

A senior police officer said that if the police find vehicles moving unnecessarily, they will be seized and the police will not issue any passes for the vehicles. The staff at the checkposts will screen the vehicles which are allowed for essential services.

Night curfew is in place in the city since April 6 to curtail the spread of Covid-19, which has so far infected over 8,03,623 people across the national capital, besides claiming 11,793 lives till date.


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