A policeman checks coronavirus vaccination certificate of a motorcyclist at a checkpoint in the Saddar area of Karachi on Saturday. PHOTO: JALAL QURESHI/EXPRESS

Lockdown kicks in

Markets shut, people seen violating SOPs, wandering in several areas

Our Correspondent August 01, 2021

On the first day of the partial lockdown imposed in the city by the Sindh government, the roads were mostly deserted and silence prevailed.

All business, commercial centres and markets remained closed. Grocery stores were also shut in most areas.

A large number of citizens remained at home. Shutters were also down in Kharadar, Meethadar, Boulton Market, Jama Cloth, Saddar, Golimar, Nazimabad, Liaquatabad, Karimabad, Federal B Area, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Landhi, Korangi and Shah Faisal.

Small and big markets, shopping malls, shopping centres, bazaars, wholesale and retail markets were closed in other areas including Faisal Colony, Malir, Lines Area, New Karachi, Surjani Town and Orangi Town.

Silence ruled the city’s business and commercial areas.

On the other hand, bakery, milk, vegetable, meat, medical, food and beverage, tandoor and daily necessities shops,including hotels, remained open.

On the first day of the partial lockdown imposed by the Sindh government to curb the rise of the fourth wave of Covid-19 in Karachi, a large number of citizens ignored SOPs. Most of the people in the inner parts and suburbs of the city were seen travelling aimlessly.

Locals spent their time sitting at different places in groups. Most of the people who went shopping did not follow Coronavirus SOPs. In Liaquatabad, PIB, Banaras, Orangi Town, Kemari ,Maripur, Landhi, Korangi, Malir, Bin Qasim, New Karachi, Surjani Town and other areas, people were seen moving without masks. Few paid any attention to social distancing.

Read: Shun differences in fight against pandemic: Wahab

In many areas, vendors and customers at milk, yogurt, meat, vegetable, fruit, medical abd grocery shops did not follow the SOPs.

On many highways, motorcyclists as well as people in cars and rickshaws did not wear masks or follow social distancing.

Public circles say that the fear of partial lockdown does not exist. It was observed that locals are moving around without fear and the law does not apply to residential areas.

Due to police checkpoints, traffic was jammed on several highways in the morning hours.

Police demanded vaccine certificates from motorcyclists and those who did not have them were sent back. Due to the closure of transport, citizens, especially those serving in various institutions, faced difficulties in getting to work.

Due to partial lockdown, less than normal traffic was seen on the city highways, Nagan Chowrangi, Nazimabad, Liaquatabad, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Landhi, Korangi, Malir, Teen Hatti and other areas. .

The worst kind of traffic jams were reported at several places and on highways due to police checkpoints.

In several areas, the police stopped the violators of pillion riding on motorcycles and removed the extra occupants. The motorcyclists were sent back.

Police offloaded more than two people in cars at several places and sent them back. Most of the people were traveling in their personal transport.

By afternoon, roadblocks were removed at several places and traffic continued as usual. Petrol pumps and puncture shops remained open in the city.

Inter-provincial transport

Busses coming from other provinces were stopped at Kathor, 20km from Karachi and passemgers were offloaded by the police on pretext of lockdown.

However, Sindh Transport Minister Owais Qadir Shah told The Express Tribune that there were no restrictions on inter-provincial transport.

Nevertheless, police and transport authorities continued harassing bus crews and passengers throughout the day. Many passengers had to walk many kilometers to reach the periphery of the city from where they could catch some transport to home.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2021.


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