Capital witnesses massive traffic jams as people defy lockdown

Photo by Ravi Ram

Staff Reporter
ITANAGAR, Apr 27: Massive traffic jams were witnessed in Naharlagun and Itanagar in the morning hours of Monday as the residents of the capital complex defied the lockdown measure and came out on the roads.
These were the first traffic jams of such scale since the nationwide lockdown was imposed following the Covid-19 outbreak.
Most of the residents were out on hospital-related work and for health check-ups. Some of them were government employees going to their offices, some were out shopping for essential items, and a sizeable number was out on banking-related work.
On being asked why he was defying the lockdown, a commuter said, “My bank account-related work has been pending for a month. So, today I decided to come out to resolve it.”
“There is nothing left in stock; we have to purchase essential commodities and household items. I have no choice but to come out,” said a man who was out to buy groceries.
“Stomach comes first. Tell me, if there is nothing to eat, wouldn’t you also come out?” a man said, on being asked why he was out despite the lockdown.
Police personnel and traffic wardens manning several check posts were finding it hard managing and controlling the crowds.
A police official on duty here said the situation arose due to misconception about the lockdown.
“The administration has given some relaxation. People misunderstood, and therefore a large number of citizens came out. But we managed to control the situation,” the official said.
According to law enforcement data, so far a total of 4451 violations have been reported across the state, out of which 536 involved arrests for violating the lockdown measure.
Nearly 850 vehicles have been seized so far, 178 FIRs have been registered, and penalties amounting to Rs 12,44,870 have been collected from people who were found not wearing facemasks and/or helmets.