Roads and tourist places devoid of people and vehicles
With all commercial establishments closed, all roads and tourist spots wore a deserted air in the southern neighborhoods during the total lockdown on Sunday.
The third consecutive lockdown on Sunday, aimed at controlling the COVID-19 outbreak in its third wave, saw roads in major towns in Tirunelveli, Tenkasi and Thoothukudi districts deserted throughout the day. But for essential services such as petrol pumps, pharmacies and the sale and supply of milk, all commercial activities had been banned.
Restaurants were only accepting takeout orders. Only vehicles intended for essential tasks were allowed, as the police prevented unnecessary travel by the general public. The police closely watched the checkpoints. Those who wanted to proceed for weddings were asked to show the invitation. For others who ventured onto the roads, the police issued a warning and turned them away.
Those arriving by train and bus from distant places were permitted to travel home by autorickshaws and taxis.
In some places, conservation workers used the roads devoid of people and traffic to clean up accumulated sand from the sides of the road.
The day also saw tourist spots such as Agasthiar Falls, Manimuthar, Kalakkad, Thalaiyanai and Courtallam devoid of people. Also, with less rain in recent days, all of Courtallam Falls had less flow.
Along with other commercial establishments, VOC Market and Kamaraj Vegetable Market in Thoothukudi also remained closed.
All the fishmongers and butchers had lowered their shutters. Fishermen did not venture into the sea and the salt marshes remained closed. With the total suspension of public and private bus operations, old and new bus stops have taken on a deserted air. Tiruchendur was also devoid of worshippers.
As many as 1,500 police officers were on duty during Sunday’s lockdown. Police checked vehicles at 68 temporary checkpoints – 23 in Thoothukudi town – across the district.