Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, along with other states like Rajasthan, Mizoram and Puducherry, have gone into a complete lockdown from today. Karnataka and Tamil Nadu will be under lockdown for the next two weeks, till May 24, with several restrictions on vehicle movements imposed in both states.
In Tamil Nadu, all vehicle movements that are not linked to essential or emergency service have been stopped. Since morning, images have appeared of how traffic police is keeping a strict vigil on the roads to stop vehicles violating the lockdown guidelines. There are hefty fines one would have to pay if found venturing out without a valid reason.
The Tamil Nadu government has imposed restrictions on inter-district and intra-district vehicular movements, unless absolutely essential. Vehicles will required to issue e-passes in case the travel does not involve medical emergency. Taxis and private vehicles will be allowed for essential travel only if proper supporting documents are provided at check posts.
Since morning, the Chennai Police has shut dow more than 35 flyovers to stop vehicle movement. Over 10,000 police personnel have been deployed and more than 200 check points set up to keep a check on vehicular movements in the city.
Similar steps have been taken in Karnataka as well to restirct vehicle movements. In Bengaluru, traffic police has set up barricades at several places to deter those travelling without a valid reason. Police has said anyone seen violating the lockdown guidelines will be arrested and their vehicles seized. As many as 3,000 vehicles were seized during a trial run of the lockdown over the weekend in Bengaluru.
However, there are no restrictions for vehicles dealing with health emergencies. Vehicles carrying essential goods or medical equipment are exempted from the lockdown.
Karnataka has also suspended bus and metro rail services. However, autorickshaws and cabs will be allowed to operate in case of emergencies.
Karnataka has also restricted vehicle movements for inter-state and intra-state travels unless there is an emergency. Passenger vehicles will be allowed only in case of railway station or airport transfers, after providing valid documents like tickets.
Both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are two of the worst affected states in the south in the second wave of Covid-19 across the country.