Though the initial hours looked particularly troublesome, final arrest and prosecution figures indicated that violations were reported through the day. If there were 289 arrests till noon, 500 were arrested till 6pm and another 484 were nabbed between 6pm and midnight. In most cases, those prosecuted claimed they were not aware of the exact lockdown norms.
The city can take heart from Thursday’s lockdown despite some areas of concern. The rough areas need to be smoothened but, overall, the message seems to have gone out that staying safe means staying home. Kolkata needs to stick to the standards it has set itself.
“There were many who had no clue whether they should be staying at home or going for work. This included clearing agents of banks, delivery boys involved with e-commerce activities and even morning walkers. For most part of the earlier lockdowns, they were not stopped. But the new order states that they too need to stay at home. All OCs of police stations and traffic guards have been asked to follow the order. A separate order for movement of intra- and inter-state goods cleared by customs have also been circulated,” said the officer.
The police arrangement will remain the same as that of Thursday. “Though it is a Saturday — a weekend — we are not taking any chances. Nearly 10,000 cops will again hit the streets in Kolkata. The nakas and pickets, too, will be there,” said an officer. The combat forces provided to each division will be used if the situation arises.
Traffic police sources said they will be keeping a special check on two-wheelers. “There were some complaints from passengers arriving at the railway stations. We will be working along with Howrah City Police and WBTC in this regard,” explained an officer.
South Kolkata will be a special challenge for civic officials and cops who are desperate to contain the spread of virus in areas like Dhakuria-Jodhpur Park and the Golf Green-Bijoygarh belt. Latest data shows that the virus is spreading fast in Ballygunge, Gariahat, Dover Lane, Garcha and is getting connected with the Dhakuria neighbourhoods. Experts fear if the virus is allowed to travel another 500m and reach Anwar Shah Road, it will connect another highly sensitive Covidinfected zone — the Golf Green-Bijoygargh-Azadgarh belt. “With the markets shut and no — or very restricted — movement in the mixed zone, we can get some crucial time to try and carry out more tests here,” said a KMC borough coordinator.