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'Janata Curfew': Roads empty, shops shut in Odisha

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

Streets across Odisha wore a deserted look and markets and business establishments remained closed on Sunday as people largely remained indoors in view of the 'janata curfew' call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, amid a spurt in Covid-19 cases in the country

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has expressed his gratitude to the people for observing the 'janata curfew' in a "disciplined and decent way", Odisha governments chief spokesperson on COVID-19, Subroto Bagchi, said.

Railway stations and bus stands in Bhubaneswar and elsewhere presented a deserted look and those who arrived at the airport and railway stations had to struggle to reach their destinations.

All shops, eateries and market places, barring pharmacies and those selling essential items, remained closed.

While people refrained from venturing out, some police personnel and those engaged in emergency services were seen on the roads.

Coinciding with the 'janata curfew', the chief minister had also announced a lockdown in five districts - Khurda, Ganjam, Cuttack, Kendrapara and Angul - and eight prominent towns, including Puri, Rourkela, Jharsuguda, of the state till March 29.

Of the 3,200 foreign returnees to Odisha, more than 70 per cent hailed from these districts and towns, Patnaik had said.

As per the request made by the prime minister, people in the state, including Bhubaneswar, came out on their balconies at 5 pm and clapped, and beat gongs.

The chief minister was also seen clapping and beating a gong from the terrace of his residence.

"Thank you angels in human form to save human race," he said in a message.

Odisha Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy, Bagchi and several senior officers were also seen clapping at the main entrance of the Lok Seva Bhavan, the state secretariat in Bhubaneswar.

Modi had urged the people to do so to express their gratitude towards doctors, nurses, hospital staff, sanitation workers, government staff, police personnel and media persons for their services.

Altogether 46 local trains and 21 express trains, superfast and intercity trains have been cancelled by the East Coast Railway (ECoR) on Sunday.

Odisha has recorded two cases of Covid-19 so far. Both the patients are undergoing treatment in separate hospitals of the state capital.

A report from Berhampur said that Ganjam district administration has arranged buses for passengers, mostly migrant workers, who came from different places by trains to Berhampur station to drop them at their respective villages.

Around 200 people had arrived from Kerala, Chennai and Coimbatore by trains before start of the 'janata curfew' and gathered at the Gate Bazar area to go to their respective villages.

They were stranded since there was no bus due to the 'janata curfew'.

"We have arranged five buses for them," said sub collector, Berhampur, Shinde Duttatraya Bhausaheb.

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

First Published: Sun, March 22 2020. 19:18 IST