OMG! Ye Muja Deva! Oh Devare! It’s ‘Manic Monday’ on ‘Covid Unlock’ First Day Chaos in City
- OMG! (Oh My God) Ye Muja Deva! Oh Devare! It’s ‘Manic Monday’ on a Chaos ‘Covid Unlock’ First Day Chaos in City
Mangaluru: OMG! Ye Muja Deva! Oh Devare! It’s ‘Manic Monday’ on ‘Covid Unlock’ First Day in Mangaluru City. With Unlock 2.0 starting today ( 5 July) , social distance went for a toss as people crowded bus-stops and traffic gridlocks greeted motorists on Mangaluru streets. “Shops, bars, hotels, Malls and other commercial establishments opened, and people were all excited to enjoy their freedom of Covid-19 Unlock First day. Self-service eateries (darshinis) saw a 10 per cent increase in business, but not at par with the pre-pandemic times. However, educational institutions, theatres, cinemas and pubs remained closed. The government has also decided to increase the guests for weddings and family functions are permitted with the presence of not more than 100 people from the present limit of 40 guests and for cremations, up to 20 people can gather.
Restaurant owner Shetty said “Business was not up to our expectations. Many hoteliers, who have dine-in establishments, did not open fully as they are waiting to see if customers turn up. We cannot call employees back unless customers arrive. The business will not pick up until and unless bachelors return from their hometowns. We expect the business to pick up after 10 days,” Even though gyms were open, members seemed hesitant to turn up. “We are following all precautions. We are sanitising, asking our members to maintain social distance. We are also regularly cleaning the place. We expect the business to pick up within a few days. New admissions are not coming and only 3 or 4 out of 10 customers are turning up.” said a manager of a well-known Gym in the City. In a big relief to temple, church and mosque goers, the state government has allowed religious places to open to the public for ‘darshan’ only and shopping malls will also be allowed to function. Sports complexes and stadiums were open only for training purposes, while social, political, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions and other gatherings and large congregations have been prohibited.
Saw A Traffic Gridlock Throughout the City
The streets of Mangaluru are totally jammed with traffic due to road or drainage works going on at every nook and corner of the City. Totally unplanned by the Mangaluru City Corporation and Mangaluru Smart City Limited. While some commercial activities have been allowed under Unlock-2, tourism activities are yet to start, said a tour and travel agent. As the government eased restrictions under ‘Unlock 2.0’, people flooded the streets on Monday, and as the over two-month lockdown ended, it was chaos in Mangaluru with people going about as if the pandemic had been eradicated .“People were unable to shop for two months, except for essentials. The business was good, though not like it was earlier. We hope this will prevail in the coming days,” explained a trader from Market Road. Some of the Catholic Churches had spiritual Mass with no devotees, while others had parishioners in small numbers. Athma Jyothi Ashram-Kadri in the City welcomed the Unlock with prayers and for the safety of the people, with mass celebrated by Fr Cyprian D’souza and Fr Dolphy Serrao, with absence of devotees.
Fr Dolphy Serrao (Left) and Fr Cyprian D’souza of Athma Jyothi Ashram
A Kind Gesture from Forum Fiza Mall Welcoming their Shoppers
Most of the traffic chaos was due to the unplanned road constructions in the City, where roads have been dug making it hard for the motorists and pedestrians to move around. Jewellery merchants were happy to see customers again, especially after missing out on most of the wedding season. Several people have started criticising the MCC and District Administration, and also the Mangaluru Smart City Limited and other agencies and also questioned why the work could not be completed during the lockdown period itself. The Smart City projects, especially road constructions have caused the traffic to snarl up and the roads had been shrunk due to the digging process. In some cases, one side of the road was completely blocked.
One citizen said that there was no difference in the condition of the roads from the pre-lockdown period. The ongoing work has made the situation much worse. One main reason which the officials of MCC and MSCL give is that they have been busy with the Covid-19 situation in the city, and also that several machines were not available and the people who were working with them also left during the lockdown. Despite that, they said that several roads in the city have been completed- which is ABSOLUTELY not true. None of the new roads started pre-Covid-19 are still incomplete, with all the mess left behind. You hardly see any labourers at the worksite. Doesn’t make any sense, why would the officials of MCC and MSCL wanted to take up a bunch of road work or drainage work all at the same time, when they knew that they were short of workers.
And the worst part is that where the road works or drainage are going on, construction debris, piles of mud, sand and asphalt on the side of the road occupies nearly half of the road. Commuting inside the City has been a nightmare for Mangalureans and outsiders today, as most of the arterial roads have been dug up, either for road widening or for other development works. While most of the roads are dug for widening, few other roads are totally closed for Underground Drainage works, either by MSCL or MCC. Incomplete works near Kankanady Market, Hampankatta, Light House Hill Road, Bunder areas, Car street, M G Road, K S Rao Road, S L Mathias Road, among others- and also the pedestrian underpass are blocking the movement of traffic in the City. And now with more City buses in service the situation is worse than a few days ago.
Churches, Temples & Mosques Welcomed The Devotees following Strict Protocols
Beauty parlours, and barbershops closed since the imposition of lockdown are in full business now- many men who were seen with fully grown beards were relieved after salons were open. Temples, Mosques and few churches opened and there was not many devotees However, CM Yediyurappa explicitly said the ease in curbs would be monitored for the next few days and if Covid cases do not increase, we will continue the relaxation, but if cases increase, we will have to bring back the restrictions. The CM said that the government will review all the relaxations after a fortnight. “If the public does not cooperate and if Covid precautions are not followed in public places, the government will roll back the relaxations and impose restrictions again,” Yediyurappa has warned.
All shops, restaurants, malls, private offices were allowed to operate in their full capacity but in strict adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour failing which action will be initiated under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. Teams will strictly keep vigil on people such as wearing masks and maintaining distance and each team will have four marshals who will visit and regulate highly crowded areas, monitored by DC.
In conclusion, One thing for sure, that you’ll all agree with me is that-Digging of roads/streets/bye-lanes will never stop in Mangaluru no matter what- and we have seen it and will see it in future too. Without proper planning, new roads are constructed, and after a while, the new roads are dug to lay cables or utility lines- and when such work is going on it creates a mess, with traffic and pedestrians facing the brunt of it. Until the work is fully completed, pedestrians have to bear with all these inconveniences and also there would be traffic snarls which will be an added nightmare. Now that these roads/footpaths have been dug, it will be a long long time before they are fully restored to the original condition- and that has been the situation in the past and will also be in future too? And even if you complain or highlight in the media, every Official from top to bottom is least bothered about the inconveniences faced by the people- and the only thing that they have in mind is HOW TO POCKET SOME EXTRA BUCKS out of these projects.
Even with the decline in active cases in Dakshina Kannada, there has been an increase in deaths, which is kind of scary. So, people should not get too excited about this unlock and flout the Covid-19 guidelines, and there could be chances that we may see yet another lockdown in the nearest future. Be Safe. Follow Covid-19 Guidelines! Take Precautions & Don’t Expect One More Lockdown!