GUWAHATI, May 4 - Guwahati, the gateway to the North East, on Monday got back its as-usual mood after more than a month of complete shutdown, as the government allowed a slew of relaxations marking the beginning of the third phase of the period.
With the government allowing plying of private vehicles, the city witnessed traffic congestion on many roads keeping the traffic personnel on toes. Traffic signals were also made operational on all main roads of the city.
Today, all the grocery shops, book shops and stationery shops were allowed to open without any condition. Other traders also followed the new norm � two closed shops followed by one open shop � wherever applicable.
However, the main market areas � Fancy Bazar, GS Road, Athgaon, Ganeshguri, etc. � did not witness the usual crowd. All shopping malls and many restaurants remained closed.
With the implementation of the relaxation, the city police maintained strict security vigil across the city.
From Monday, the Assam State Transport Corporation also started plying of 100 city buses from 6.30 am to 5 pm and the entire ticketing took place through the Chalo app. A large number of people were seen waiting for the city buses at every bus stop. Only 50 per cent of passengers were allowed in the buses.
�I waited for more than an hour to take a bus at Sixmile, but could not get one. So, after walking for some time, I took a bus at Khanapara this morning. Social distancing norms were maintained inside the buses,� a woman commuter from Sixmile area said.
The All Assam Motor Transport Association today announced that from Tuesday, its members will ply 100 city buses following all the government guidelines and social distancing norms. But, it said, it will suspend the service if the bus owners suffer losses after plying with 50 per cent passengers.
Meanwhile, violation of social distancing norms was reported in places after the relaxation, with people gathering in large numbers to buy items. The city traffic police fined several bikers with pillion riding during the day, as there has been a temporary restriction on pillion riding, except for women and children below 12 years.
While shops were allowed to operate till 5 pm, police at many places were seen enforcing it among violators. Police also took to announcements to enforce the night curfew, which began at 6 pm. Security personnel were seen chasing commuters who were out on the roads after 6 pm at many locations.