TN comes to standstill as people observe 'Janta Curfew'; govt

extends it till Monday morning (Eds: Adds details) Chennai, Mar 22 (PTI) Tamil Nadu came to a virtual standstill on Sunday with roads, bus stands and railway stations wearing a deserted look and retail stores downing shutters down in solidarity with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Janta curfew' call to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the State government extended the 'janta curfew' till 5 am tomorrow.

While the support of people, traders, industries and other sections of the society was visible on Sunday, the government acknowledged their 'cooperation' and said the curfew scheduled to end at 9 pm on Sunday 'will continue till 5 am tomorrow considering people's welfare.' An official release here said there was no bar to continuation of essential services and appealed to people to extend their full cooperation.

Alhough some vehicular movement was seen on major roads of the state, these were largely private vehicles and their numbers were minuscule.

Public and private buses, autos and taxis stayed off the roads in most parts of the state. Metro Rail services were not operated.

Arterial roads, including the Anna Salai and the GST Road here and vital junctions like the Kathipara grade separator which are usually teeming with vehicles and people were empty.

The iconic Marina and Elliots beach here wore a deserted look.

The Koyambedu wholesale and retail market for vegetables, flowers and fruits was shut.

Similar was the scenario in other cities and towns of the state such as Coimbatore, Tiruchirappalli and Madurai.

However, the low-cost eatery chain 'Amma Canteen' run by local bodies across Tamil Nadu were open and came as a boon to migrant labourers and workers since all other eateries were shut.

Interestingly, weddings at several places in Tamil Nadu turned out to be low-key affairs with only close relatives of the bride and groom taking part.

In Kanchipuram, a wedding took place at the home of the groom with only a few relatives participating.

As per the almanac, today is a 'muhurtha naal' in Tamil Nadu which is auspicious for weddings and other happy occasions.

Local bodies across Tamil Nadu, meanwhile, continued with their clean up-cum-disinfection drive in public places like bus terminals and markets by spraying disinfectants.

Essential services like milk distribution and hospitals (including the state-run Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital which treats COVID-19 patients and the Stanley Hospital) functioned as usual. PTI VGN SS SS SS