Chennai police intensify lockdown, vehicles pile up on arterial roads

Only 50% have e-registration; residents asked to buy vegetables, groceries in their neighbourhood

To curb the spread of COVID-19 in the city, Chennai Police have intensified the lockdown, by blocking vehicles en masse in order to check e-registration passes, and are only allowing essential workers.

On Monday, the city police said e-registration would be required to move from under one police station limits to another, even in the permitted hours of 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. To tighten restrictions further, they established vehicle check-points in 13 places of the 12 police districts in the city.

Barricades have been put at the borders of each police station limit as well, to prevent people moving from one place to another. Joint Commissioner of Police V. Balakrishnan said, “Each police station has three sectors. The sectors have been cordoned off. Residents have been asked to buy vegetables, groceries and other essentials in the neighbourhood shops where they live. They were advised not to move to other areas.”

Over 135 police stations have been divided into sectors. As many as 348 sectors were cordoned off with barricades on the roads to prevent the movement of the public. Arrangements have been made for the public to buy vegetables, essentials and food within the sector where they live. They are allowed to do so only in the permitted hours between 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. as per the guidelines of the government.

“Those who go to another police station limit should have e-registration. People without e-registration will not be allowed to enter another police station limit,” City Police Commissioner Shankar Jiwal had ordered.

Traffic chaos

On Tuesday morning, law and order police and traffic police suddenly stopped all vehicles plying on Anna Salai by placing iron barricades on the roads. Traffic went out of gear and the motorists were agitating. Police allowed the vehicles only after ascertaining the purpose of movement. Similar scenes were witnessed in several parts of the city.

A senior police officer said, “Around 50% of motorists have the e-registration while the remaining do not have it. We stop all and verify the records. If they do not have e-registration or any valid reason, we immediately impound the vehicles besides booking cases against them. Most of the motorists on the roads claim that they were moving for emergency purposes such as hospital or related work. We also found most of the vehicles on roads now are from hospitals or other emergency services.”

Intensive vehicle checking was also done in bordering areas of the city such as Poonamallee, Mangadu, Kundrathur, Ambattur, Avadi, Tambaram, Vandalur and Thiruporur.

Besides, 153 vehicle checking points have been established connecting all important junctions and covering all police limits of the city. Men were deployed on 205 two-wheeler patrolling vehicles, 309 four-wheeler patrolling vehicles and beat patrolling vehicles of police stations were stationed at important points at each police station limit. Senior officials are monitoring the implementation.

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