Pune: Local authorities from Wagholi claimed that the janata curfew (voluntary lockdown) received a 100 per cent response from citizens on the first day. Traders had also voluntarily closed down their shops. However, traffic on the Pune-Nagar highway remained unaffected.
A meeting was held in the Gram Panchayat three days ago against the backdrop of increasing number of Covid-19 patients in Wagholi. A janata curfew was announced between September 12 and 17. The gram panchayat raised awareness about this on a large scale. Appeals were made through social media, billboards etc. Citizens had flocked for shopping on Friday due to the six-day curfew. Hospitals, dispensaries, medicine shops and dairies are excluded from this. The gram panchayat had prepared rules in this regard. There was constant awareness being created about it. This created confusion among citizens who had to step out for livelihoods. Hence officials had clarified that it was a voluntary lockdown and not a compulsory one.
Today, on the first day, however, there was no need felt for deputing any police personnel or gram panchayat staff. At present, the number of Covid-19 patients in Wagholi is 989 and 733 patients have recovered. 254 patients are active and three have died due to Covid-19.
Anil Kumbhar, Village Development Officer of Wagholi said, “Today the janata curfew has received a 100 per cent response. If all citizens take care and follow norms issued by the authorities, then such decisions would not be required to be taken. Nothing can be achieved by forcing anything on the citizens. They should follow self-discipline.”
The business community in Wagholi area has however opposed the voluntary lockdown decisions. A trader said, “A shut down for a week means we go receive a financial setback equivalent of a month. We are already financially stressed. Lockdown or janata curfew is not always a solution to Covid-19 outbreak. The gram panchayat should take action against violators of public safety and precautionary norms.”
Another trader said, “Special teams should be formed to take action against shopkeepers and customers who do not wear masks and do not observe social distancing. We appeal to the authorities to not enforce lockdown or janata curfews henceforth.”