Never in the history of Chennai, are so many people leaving it as in the past few days. And with the severe lockdown starting from 12.01 AM June 19, for the past 24 hours, there is heavy traffic at all toll gates in the Chennai borders. It is because of many not having pass and those managing to leave will also be not allowed in many districts.
Also, today, there is a massive rush in the banks to withdraw money and in shops to buy goods for use in the12 days of lockdown. Due to the spiraling infection cases, including the 1,276 cases yesterday, this lockdown could be severe, with the only movement for essential needs. It has made the people Ito rush out of Chennai and to the banks and shops now.
Lockdown 6.0 in Chennai
The prime minister talks with the chief ministers of continuing the lockdown 6.0. in many states. However, Chennai is already under lockdown 5.0 with relaxations. The new announcement by the CM on June 15 of complete lockdown again is called by the people as lockdown 6.0.
All the existing relaxations will stop, and people to even buy essential supplies have to move only within a 2 kilometers radius from their homes. Only limited offices, which are necessary like banks, EB, and others, can function with only 33 % of employees.
Hence this lockdown within lockdown may bring down the rapid rise of coronavirus infections in Chennai and its neighboring districts, which also have the highest number of infection cases.
Banks to work from June 20 to 26 from 10 AM to 2 PM
Today from the morning, there are long queues in front of many banks in Chennai. It is because of the misinformation in the Tamil Nadu government guidelines for the strict lockdown yesterday morning that banks will only function on June 29 and 30.
But yesterday evening, it was corrected and announced that banks will operate from June 20 to 26 from 10 AM to 2 PM, with 33 % staff in Chennai. Hence there is no need for the people to panic and to rush to banks. Also, banks will fill the ATMs with adequate cash for the people to withdraw during the lockdown time.
Thousands of families are going out of Chennai.
All the tollgate on the bordering districts of Chennai is filled with vehicles full of families leaving out of Chennai. The Chennai exodus is by way of two-wheelers with gas cylinders, stoves, and essential or in Tata Ace vehicles with all the household goods.
Some come with e-pass and others without e-pass are stopped by police. But many get down from the vehicle at some distance before the toll gate. They walk to the other side and get into the vehicle after it crosses the check post.
Many families unable to give rent to their houses in Chennai and with the new lockdown are queuing up in the toll gates. Some without a pass is sent back, and some allowed due to humanitarian reasons by the police.
Tamil Nadu and Chennai are famous for receiving and giving livelihood for people from anywhere. And this is the first time people flee Chennai to their native places and are also stopped not to come inside. When this pathetic situation brought by this deadly pathogen will will end, is what everyone wants to know?