SHILLONG, May 4 - The State capital today witnessed a tremendous rush with hundreds of vehicles plying on the roads, thus leading to traffic snarls at some places and people coming out to buy essentials and other items.
The district relaxed the lockdown allowing hardware, electrical and liquor stores to open along with shops selling essential commodities. A large number of people therefore thronged market places like Police Bazaar and other places.
Liquor, medical and mobile stores witnessed huge rush during the day. The vegetable and fish markets too saw a sizeable increase in the number of people visiting these places. After several weeks, a large percentage of state government employees also joined their offices.
But what differentiated today from the rest of the lockdown period is the number of vehicles that were on the street. The district administration was quick to clarify that people would need to get a pass to ply their private vehicles on the street as the country is still under lockdown.
Moreover, since there is night curfew from 7 pm to 7 am, anyone wishing to come out during this period has to get a curfew pass from the concerned district authorities.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said that students and other people stranded outside the State can come in with long-term plans in mind.
He said that these people would not be allowed to make a quick trip into the State and then return to their workplaces in different parts of the country due to the lockdown.
Sangma therefore said that those stranded outside have to make their plans accordingly. He further added that those in the North East would be brought in first, and then those outside the region.
These people would have to pay for their travel expenses for coming into the State. The CM didn�t mention about the Centre�s reported direction that State governments have to pay 15 per cent of the expenses of the people travelling by Railways. The Centre is paying the rest of the fare totalling 85 per cent.