Shops shut, de-congested roads in city

Nikhil Borkar
Friday, 20 March 2020

Citizens of Pune exercised caution on Thursday in the wake of coronavirus scare after the district administration’s decision on Wednesday that banned assembly of five or more people in public places, private workplace and private open spaces. 

PUNE: Citizens of Pune exercised caution on Thursday in the wake of coronavirus scare after the district administration’s decision on Wednesday that banned assembly of five or more people in public places, private workplace and private open spaces. 

Police teams visited many shops urging owners to close down on Thursday.
 
Several shops downed shutters in the city except for groceries, vegetable shops and pharmacies. 

People have been stocking up dry and essential items like flour, pulses, spices and medicines fearing a stricter lock down or shortage. 

But at some places in Hadapsar, many shops owners were seen not following the police order and were conducting business with shutters half down. 

Many companies have already asked employees to work from home since last week and many more joined the list on Thursday. 

Abhijeet Gundawar, an employee of a private firm in Kharadi said, “After we were given the order to work from home, our office premises bore a completely deserted look.”
 
Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) offices also were deserted after employees were asked to work on alternate days to lessen number of people in the building. 

The crowd at Pune Railway Station was reduced considerably, with people avoiding train travel and most returning to hometowns preferred to take the road. 

Malls in the city were barren with security guards seen manning them. 

Central Railway cancelled 30 trains from March 20 to March 31, including Pune-Bilaspur Express (11025), Pune-Secunderabad Shatabdi Express (12025), Pune-Surat Hutatma Express (12157) and Pune-Surat Intercity Express (12169). 

On Pune-Ahmednagar Highway, Wagholi, one of the last points in the city, witnessed less traffic than normal.

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