COVID-19: Lockdown mayhem as thousands flee B'luru

Coronavirus lockdown mayhem as thousands flee Bengaluru

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s announcement that those who want to enter or exit Bengaluru should do so before the midnight of Tuesday led to chaos at the toll booths on Tumakuru Road with more than 20,000 vehicles clearing out of the city by 9.50 pm. 

Officials at the toll plaza said the rush was such that police lifted the barricade to allow the vehicles a free pass and clear the traffic jam that had stretched until the Nagasandra metro station. 

“Nearly 60,000 vehicles have exited the toll in the last two days. You can assume that at least 30,000 of them are passenger vehicles. More than 20,000 of them did not even pay the toll as police told toll plaza staffers to lift the barricade to clear the snarls,” a senior official at the plaza told DH

A senior official in the government expressed concern over the movement of people. “These people should not have been allowed to move into the districts and rural centres. Every person exiting Bengaluru is posing a threat to the safety of the people in rural areas where the health system will not be able to provide any support to the people suffering from diseases like Covid-19,” he said. 

As per the records, 28,601 vehicles exited Bengaluru on Monday, when the government announced paid holiday. Officials said the numbers stayed low till the afternoon of Tuesday due to the lockdown and the police barricades in the city put up the barrier. 

“There was a sudden surge in the evening following the chief minister’s announcement. Police had to arrive and clear the area several times to manage the situation,” a toll plaza staffer said. 

The total number of vehicles exiting Bengaluru stood at 11,200 at 9.50 pm.

“The vehicle flow increased around 7 pm and traffic congestion was seen several times. We managed with the help of the police. But about 10,000 vehicles passed the toll without paying the fee,” an official said. 

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