Bhubaneswar: The 14-day lockdown across Odisha that commenced from 5 AM today, with the sale and purchase of essentials being allowed from 6 AM to 12 noon, started peacefully, though some minor incidents were reported from some places.
Many locals and businessmen across Odisha welcomed the step of the State Government to check the surge in Covid-19 cases.
Ranjan, a local businessman from Koraput said, “In view of the overcrowding the administration has given us permission to do business while maintaining distance and wearing masks. We welcome the steps taken by the administration.
Sasmita, a Cuttack resident said, “Lockdown is necessary amid the pandemic. We must observe the guidelines of the State Government to avoid the further rise of Covid-19 cases.”
Cases of panic buying were also reported from some places. Gajanan, a local businessman in Cuttack, said, “We welcome the lockdown measure taken by the State Government. Though essentials are available, people are not disciplined.”
On the other hand, traders at the daily market in Balangir have sparked outrage over the lockdown. While the administration had barred them from selling vegetables, they sought two hours’ permission. As the administration did not comply, traders expressed dissatisfaction and threw away the vegetables.
Meanwhile, district and police administration across the State have taken various measures for smooth implementation of the lockdown.
In Cuttack, 16 platoons of police force, along with senior officers, police station staff and inspectors are being deployed to control the situation. Checkpoints have been set up at 33 places, besides police patrolling has been intensified.
Cuttack DCP Prateek Singh said that the main target is to close the shops selling non-essential items. Vegetable vendors have been dispersed and allowed to sit separately at a distance to avoid crowding. All shops will be closed after 12 PM, except medical stores.
People who are not following the rules and coming out of their houses on motorcycles are being fined and the vehicles are being seized. People in need of assistance can dial 100 or 112. In case of any emergency, they can call on the number and avail police assistance.