Mad rush for essentials in Hyderabad

People waiting in a long queue to buy groceries at a supermarket in Chintal on Monday. Photo: Surya Sridhar

Hyderabad: The first day of the lockdown in the city saw panic-stricken crowds rushing to stock essential commodities anticipating more stringent measures by the government to contain Covid-19 pandemic.

Since early shopping hours, a mad rush was witnessed at the super-markets and vegetable markets across the city to purchase essential items including vegetables, pulses and meat. The crowd, however, melted towards the afternoon at most of the places.

“Prices of the groceries were hiked by the management at the supermarkets. As the situation demanded we pay whatever they charged, we did it,” said Najma Sultana, a homemaker from Tolichowki. The city roads witnessed heavy traffic in the morning with people rushing to visit the stores and places of work. Despite the government asking the management to close the offices, a few private companies had reportedly called up the employees to attend the work and the confused workers took up the issue with Director General of Police and informed him over twitter.

The Traffic and the Law & Order counterparts who were liberal during the morning over the lock down tightened the restrictions later. “We allowed the public to make purchases of essential items in the morning and did not disturb them. Now we are reimposing the restrictions more stringently,” said a senior police officer. Public transport vehicles including auto rickshaws and cabs were seized by the police teams at various places. Several persons who ventured out to have a “dekho” faced the wrath of the police who pulled them up for their irresponsible behaviour.

The police kept a watch on the movement of ambulances following reports of some persons commuting in the vehicles. The bus stations and railway stations wore a deserted look as the public transport was suspended. Rush, however, was seen at the ATM centres across the city and also at fuel stations.  Towards evening senior police officials were seen moving on the roads to enforce the lock down.  DS Chauhan, Additional Commissioner Hyderabad, was seen in the older parts of the city enquiring with the motorists their reason for moving around.

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