Frantic buying in Dimapur as total lockdown partially relaxed

Frantic buying in Dimapur as total lockdown partially relaxed
People lined up outside a grocery store in Dimapur, Monday. (NP)
Staff Reporters DIMAPUR, APR 6 (NPN) | Publish Date: 4/6/2020 11:47:09 AM IST

Dimapur city once again, witnessed several hundred frantic residents rushing to markets to buy essential items after the Dimapur district administration partially relaxed the total lockdown enforced from April 1 -5 throughout the district. 

The district administration and police commissioner had announced total lockdown on March 31 from April 1-3 and which was later extended to April 5 midnight. Prohibitory order under Sec.144 of CrPC was relaxed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to enable public to buy essentials items in their respective colonies and villages.

Since markets and departmental stores remained completely shut for the past five days, people were seen rushing out to get essential items and, with demands outstripping stock, many food items ran out of stock. ATM booths were also the scene of frenzied crowds gathering to withdraw cash while traffic congestion was witnessed at various junctions in the town. One youth who had queued outside an ATM booth told Nagaland Post, that the total lockdown for the past five days had left his family run out of cash. The youth said he has to queue up observing social distancing to withdraw cash for buying vegetables. “I am worried if the ATMs run out of cash,” remarked another old lady, who complained about having to stand for a long period. 

When several of those in queue were asked why they were not utilizing home delivery services, they replied that though the administration had encouraged using home delivery services, the cost of food items had become more expensive. 

“These deliveries are not for people like us who don’t have the luxury to sit at home and pay that much as we are trying to live economically after the lockdown. We don’t know when another complete lockdown will be announced,” explained an old man.

Most of the grocery shops were overcrowded with frantic public rushing to stock up on essentials. While some shops were maintaining social distancing norms, others shops with no spaces were totally packed. “We are living in uncertainty because we are never sure which shops would be opened and what essential items would be available. So, we are left with no option but to stock up everything we find,” said a shopper speaking on condition of anonymity. 

A wholesaler at GS Road said even if they maintained enough stocks, people nevertheless continued to rush frantically since they were afraid that stocks would get exhausted.

 Besides other perishable goods, the wholesalers had sufficient stocks of potatoes and onions, adding those who rushed to the markets did not return empty handed.

It was also noticed that hand sanitisers and hand washes were provided to shoppers in certain stores, while workers were seen with gloves and masks on.

The wholesale dealer said that the resultant traffic congestion was due to analogous timing of loading and unloading. In this regard, he hoped that the Dimapur Municipal Council would allot separate timings to prevent congestions.

While buyers said adequate time should have been provided before imposing the total lockdown, traders opined it was done on an emergency situation. One of them said the lockdown was unavoidable and meant for public safety and it was in the best interest of every citizen to cooperate with the authorities concerned and abide by the law.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Naga families, living near the border area have expressed resentment that they continue to be denied entry into Nagaland. 

A resident near Dillai gate told Nagaland Post that they buy all their essential items from Dimapur. However, police stationed along the border areas have prevented them from entering Nagaland as part of the order to seal the borders. 

Several of the affected residing along the border areas, appealed to the district authorities to allow them entry. They said the residents are facing shortages as they wholly depended on markets in Dimapur and that the blockade at the border gate has become a human problem.

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