The lockdown call and the request for physical distancing seem to have failed completely in Meghalaya as people in large numbers thronged the streets for the second consecutive day on Friday – this time in Shillong.
On Thursday, there was a chaotic situation in West Garo Hills (Tura), East Garo Hills (Williamnagar) and South Garo Hills (Baghmara) where people thronged the markets in large numbers to buy essential commodities during the six hours relaxation period of the lockdown.
Citing the rush and locking at the chaos, chief minister Conrad Sangma even appealed to the people to maintain a social distance of one metre and follow directives of the administration.
Also read: Meghalaya CM appeals against panic buying
“During the relaxation hours, there was panic,” Sangma had said.
“The intention of the relaxation was to enable the public to buy essential food items,” he added.
“However, the chaotic scenes of overcrowding and rush is something which is not advisable and desirable,” Sangma further said.
“The state government is working for our safety, let us cooperate in this fight against coronavirus,” Sangma reiterated.
However, the constant appeals and requests seem to have fell into deaf years as the situation worsened on Friday.
Hundreds of people in Laitumkhrah in Shillong rushed to local markets to buy essential things and the CM’s call for social distancing went for a toss.
Sources informed Northeast Now that even though the government on Thursday announced about the availability of essential commodities, but nothing is available and this has scared the people.
When Northeast Now spoke to B L Pakyntein, additional deputy commissioner of East Khasi Hills, she said that the district magistrate and the police have rushed to the spot and the situation will be brought under control.
On Thursday, the East Khasi Hills deputy commissioner M War has fixed timing for opening of fair price shops and groceries.
In a statement, War said all fair price shops, both NFSA and non-NFSA, will remain opened on Friday and Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm.
“Only identified groceries and select shops selling essential items will be allowed to remain open in all the localities of Shillong agglomeration from 9 am to 5 pm during the same period,” the order stated.