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Dimapur witnesses huge traffic jam despite lockdown

shops open 1
Shop open at City Tower junction on Monday

Dimapur, April 27: After more than a month of empty roads since the imposition of countrywide lockdown, Dimapur on Monday saw heavy rush of traffic moving towards Dimapur town giving an appearance that there is no lockdown in Dimapur. The lockdown is in force till May 3.
The number of vehicles coming to Dimapur town caused huge traffic jams in almost all major junctions leading to the town, which was unseen for more than a month now since the lockdown was imposed.
With no police force on duty to enforce the lockdown, as was done at the beginning of the lockdown, traffic movement in Dimapur has been steadily increasing since the second week of April. Even after 2 p.m., when lockdown is supposed to be total, vehicles not on COVID-19 duty are seen freely moving on the roads till late in the night.
On Monday, the large number of vehicles moving towards Dimapur town caused massive traffic jams in most major junction leading to the town. Vehicles coming to the town from Purana Bazaar side were stuck at the Burma Camp traffic point for hours with the traffic jam extending up to the new Dhansiri Bridge.
Hundreds of vehicles were also seen lined up from the City Tower Junction to Khermahal Junction and till the Tragopan Junction; and the serpentine traffic snarl continued from the City Tower to the Holy Cross Junction and Dhobinullah Junction.
SOP on maintaining social distancing flouted
Most of the shops and business establishments opened on Monday for business in Dimapur town, after an Order issued by DC Dimapur on April 26 permitted certain business activities in Dimapur during the lockdown period. However, the Standard Operating Procedure protocol for social distancing to be ensured, as mentioned in the Order, was blatantly flouted in many places in the town.
Shops selling cement, hardware items, vehicle parts and accessories, tyre shops, computer shops, stationery shops etc opened in and around Dimapur town, besides shops selling grocery items. Vegetables and fish continued to be sold with the confines of colonies.
There was lots of confusion in the business community in the town area, as the Deputy Commissioner’s Order permitting business activities had not specified what kinds of shops should open and which shops should remain closed. However, at 9 a.m. most people started opening their shops irrespective of the essential and non-essential items they sold and within an hour, one could see huge rush of vehicles and people in some shops.
As usual shops located in Murgi Patti, GS Road, Marwari Patti, except the Wholesale medicine shops, remained closed.
‘Unaffordable commodities’
The price of essential commodities in the markets in wards/colonies and villages in Dimapur has become unaffordable for many families as there is no regulatory body in these markets to the price charged by the retailers. Even in the same market in a ward/colony/village, prices of commodities charged by different retailers differ.
Most residents in wards/colonies and villages says they are aware that the prices of commodities charged by traders in the ward/village markets is exorbitant but says they have no option but to buy from them, since there are no other markets from where they procure the commodities due to the lockdown.
On the other hand, retailers claims that it is the wholesalers that is hiking the price of commodities and that they are buying from the wholesalers at a higher price and so have no option but to sell at a higher price.
But with no authority checking the veracity of the retailers’ claim and allowing them a free hand to fix the retail price of any commodities, it is the consumers who end up paying more.
(Page News Service)