Coronavirus Pandemic

India: People are crossing state borders for shopping during Covid times

Web report/Puducherry
Filed on May 27, 2021
Police personnel check vehicles at a checkpoint as travel restrictions have been imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19 in India. Photo: AFP

Police worried as residents are crossing borders despite stiff Covid restrictions.

Roads have a funny way of dividing states and union territories in India and during normal times, it is mainly tourists who stand in one ‘state’ and get photographed from the other side of the road. It happens in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and Assam and Meghalaya and many other places.

But during these tough Covid times, it is the police in two different states or union territories who are worried as they see people hopping across from one state, which has imposed stiff restrictions on shops and other markets, to the other in search of things to buy.

In Sithalampattu village in Tamil Nadu’s Villupuram district, all shops are shut till May 31 because of the lockdown imposed by the government.

Many residents, however, just cross the road and enter Thirukkanur in Puducherry, a union territory, where shops and other outlets are open till noon, allowing them to buy things and walk back home. The police in Tamil Nadu have sealed the border with Puducherry, but it is not possible for them to stop people from walking over to the other side.

“Though movement of vehicles has been regulated to a great extent, except those relating to emergencies, people are making an exception to go out to the other side making use of the six-hour window in Puducherry,” a police officer told the media.

"The intense lockdown in Tamil Nadu is aimed at curbing unnecessary movement, but people have been walking over to the other side, defeating the purpose.”

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