Transport off the roads, business establishments shut
Srinagar: A strict lockdown was imposed across Kashmir valley, except Bandipora, on Thursday in view of upsurge in Covid-19 cases and fatalities in the last few days.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration had on Wednesday decided to impose a complete lockdown, starting Wednesday evening, in all districts of Kashmir valley except Bandipora.
Ironically, Bandipora was the first Covid-19 hotspot in Kashmir valley, with a number of cases reported from one particular locality. Since then, however, no major cases have been reported from the district, thus qualifying for the orange-zone category.
The communiqué issuing the order for lockdown added that the movement of essential services, like goods carriers, LPG and oil tankers will continue without any interruption.
It also said that agriculture, horticulture and construction activities will continue in accordance with disaster management guidelines, which specify that a necessary protocol needs to be followed.
In Srinagar, strict restrictions were put in place since last evening, while on Thursday morning public movement was restricted to ensure adherence to the lockdown.
The city centre Lal Chowk remained deserted with all shops shut and barricades erected across the main road.
Medical shops were open at some places and only essential and medical emergencies transport was allowed to ply on roads.
Since morning, police authorities were seen announcing lockdown through loudspeakers, cautioning people against venturing out unnecessarily, and emphasising on taking all necessary precautions.
All the main routes were sealed to restrict movement of people, while a huge deployment of forces was visible everywhere in the city to enforce strict lockdown.
During the day, police authorities at several localities of Srinagar were seen charging people with fines for not wearing masks.
In Ganderbal district, strict restrictions were put in place since Thursday morning. Local sources said that a complete lockdown was imposed across the district, and all the main roads were sealed. However, necessary and medical emergencies transport was allowed to ply on roads.
Similar lockdown was imposed in Baramulla district of north Kashmir, Anantnag district of South Kashmir and the adjacent Kulgam district. Reports from other districts also said that the authorities put severe restrictions in place to curtail movement and business activities.
With Eid Ul Azha not far, the administration will be deciding on relaxations in the lockdown in a few days. The current lockdown will be in force up to Monday morning, after which the divisional administration will come up guidelines to operate markets and businesses for a few days before Eid.