Bhubaneswar, Mar 21 : A day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to the nation to observe Janata curfew on Sunday, major towns of Odisha including the twin city of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack wore a deserted look. Over 90 per cent of the shops closed, very few vehicles seen plying in the city roads and people preferred to remain indoor.
The Prime Minister appealed to the people to observe Janata curfew tomorrow in a bid to help people to maintain social distancing to keep coronavirus at bay and not allow the dreaded disease to spread further. The repeated advertisements and advisory issued by the government and various private agencies describing the ferocity of the disease and to maintain social distancing as the only way to combat the disease seems to have an impact on the psychic of the people who have accepted it well. Not a single shop was opened today on the busy Janpath right from Vanivihar upto Sishu Bhawan square which is generally overcrowded any given day of the week.
The shop owners in major markets in the capital city—Saheed Nagar, Bapuji Nagar, Unit 2 and Unit 3, Indradhanu markets have pulled down their shutters in response to the government’s directive. Security personnel along with the officials of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation are seen forcing shops to close down their units who have opened their establishments violating the government’s directive.
The entry of devotees to all religious shrines including the Shri Jagannath temple, Puri, Lingaraj temple, Bhubaneswar, churches and mosques, and Zoological Park in Bhubaneswar have been shut. In Cuttack also the same situation prevailed with major markets of the state like the Malgodam, the biggest wholesale market of the state and the Chhatra Bazar either closed or partially opened. A report from Sambalpur in Western Odisha said the road from G M University to Court (Kacheri Chowk) that hardly remains free an overcrowded area bears a deserted look. Similar is the situation in most of the daily markets of the district like Gole Bazar, Professor Colony, Ainthapali, Dhanupali and other places.
Such situations also prevailed in other cities like Rourkela, Jharsuguda and other small cities of the state. Introduction of odd-even number and regulations on the plying of vehicles created an impression of a curfew-like situation.(UNI)