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Bihar lockdown: People stock up on essentials; few pvt buses,

Press Trust of India  |  Patna 

A day after the Bihar government imposed a lockdown in urban areas of the state to check the spread of Covid-19, people were seen thronging market places and medical stores to stock up on essentials.

In state capital Patna, residents moved around freely in cars and bikes, some of them queuing up next to petrol pumps and ATMs.

Tea shops and snack stalls were also open throughout the day, as people stood next to each other to relish their cuppa, without following the advised norms of social distancing.

One or two private buses and auto-rickshaws were also seen plying the roads, in violation of the lockdown order.

A vendor at a local market in the state capital said his customers were buying vegetables and milk for a week, as they are sceptical about the availability of essential items over the next few days.

Asked what actions were being taken against those flouting rules, Patna Divisional Commissioner Sanjay Kumar Agarwal said 53 vehicles have been seized so far for violating the order.

The administration will take appropriate action against those who fail to abide by the rules, he asserted.

In Muzaffarpur and Siwan districts, too, a few private buses, with passengers in excess of their capacity, were plying the roads.

At Bariya bus stand in Muzaffarpur, however, police personnel were seen vacating the vehicles, asking people to return to their homes.

"With so many people out on the streets, it seems no one is taking this lockdown seriously. The administration should take necessary actions to strictly enforce the lockdown in the interest of common people, Sanjeev Kumar, a businessman and a resident of Muzaffarpur, said.

The Bihar government had on Sunday enforced a lockdown in all district headquarters, sub-divisional headquarters, block headquarters and urban local bodies of the state with immediate effect till March 31.

In a circular issued in this regard, it, however, clarified that all necessary and essential services -- groceries, medicines, dairy shops, petrol pump, CNG stations, banking, ATM, post office, print and electronic media -- have been kept out of the purview of the lockdown.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 23 2020. 14:44 IST