An official release from the Secretariat said, the ban on public worships in temples and other places, festivals and religious congregations will continue. “Morning beach goers will be banned and restrictions will be lifted once the cases reduce,” a senior government official said.
While intensifying the enforcement of new restrictions that came into effect from Saturday, the Chennai Corporation also took measures to conduct street-level vaccination camps. “There are over 10 lakh people above 45 in the city who are yet to get the shots. Our fever survey workers will collect their details and special camps will be conducted for streets to inoculate at least 100 people. Such camps will also be stationed at parks,” G Prakash, Corporation Commissioner, said. He added that the civic body is in talks with various residents’ welfare associations of gated communities to hold camps in residential areas. Camps are being organised at private organisations, banks. The civic body also identified eight streets with more than 10 cases. Movement restrictions and other protocols have been strictly enforced in these areas. Prakash explained that the number of cases is higher in zones like Teynampet, Kodambakkam and Anna Nagar (all in central regions).
On the other hand, field officials intensified enforcement of recently announced restrictions by imposing penalty against violators from Saturday. “The fine collection continued till late night. The number of offenders and amount collected are being consolidated, “ an official said. The Corporation is also in talks with the Fisheries Department on implementing restrictions at Kasimedu fish market.
Some city routes see fewer buses
City buses operated without standing passengers, but the restriction that came into effect on Saturday could not be implemented effectively in Tambaram, Avadi, Red Hills and Manali New Town where there were standing passengers due to lesser number of services and long waiting time. Meanwhile, MTC officials are studying bus routes to rationalise services.
MTC works on plan to step up services from Monday
With the State government’s new restrictions on standing commuters on buses coming into effect, city buses were operated with only seated passengers with strict enforcement of wearing masks on Saturday. However, the buses plying on the city outskirts like Tambaram, Avadi, Red Hills and Manali New Town were carrying standing passengers as well due to less number of bus services and long waiting time.
“Being a weekend, the number of passengers travelling on the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) buses was less and they could strictly enforce the new norms,” said a bus conductor at CMBT. “We asked passengers to get down if all the seats are occupied. Some of them got down politely while others complained and argued over bus availability,” he added. MTC sources said that more than 300 additional buses were operated on Saturday in addition to 2,000 buses that operated usually during the weekends. The State government on Thursday had allowed the city and long-distance buses to carry passengers up to its seating capacity and banned standing travel given the second wave.
MTC would deploy additional bus services in certain identified routes from Monday based on the number of passengers travelling in a day and occupancy ratio. A senior MTC official said the Corporation decided to operate additional bus services on Saturday and Sunday based on the initial assessment. “On Sunday, we will finalise bus routes and number of services to be increased on the certain routes; it will come into effect from Monday, a working day,” he said.