BHOPAL: With markets closed and roads heavily barricaded, the state capital wore a deserted look on the eve of Holi on the first day of the two-day lockdown on Sunday. Monday will also be almost a lockdown as public movement has been restricted and business establishments have been closed on Holi. During Sunday’s lockdown, police teams were deployed in every nook and cranny to restrict public movement. Public transportation was totally suspended, too, during the lockdown.
However, some of the roads which were barricaded created extra problems for traffic. The road leading to Palash Hotel from Banganga, the road leading to Tulsi Nagar from Link Road No.1 and the road leading from Shahpura to 1100 Quarter were barricaded but such barricading posed unnecessary problems to vehicular traffic. How are people staying at Palash Hotel supposed to move out for the airport as the roads have been barricaded at Banganga Square? Such barricading seems to be utterly whimsical and self-defeating.
The Shahpura road is a through-road and the public coming from Rajiv Gandhi College had to return and move through Shahpura Colony to come out onto the road. It must also have posed problems for even the law-enforcement agencies, such as the police. However, the lanes leading to 74 Bunglow from the main road were opened partially for traffic despite being barricaded. As far the markets were concerned, various markets, such as New Market, Chowk Bazaar, Jumerati, Bairagarh and so forth and colony markets were closed ahead of Holi. According to government restrictions, business establishments have to be kept closed for two days.
During Sunday’s lockdown, only essential services — such as hospitals and medical stores — were open. Similarly, movements to and from the airport and railway stations — especially of candidates appearing in various competitive examinations and of factory raw material and factory workers — were exempted from the purview of the lockdown.