A few districts in Tamil Nadu have embarked upon a novel way to restrict the movement of private vehicles on the road amid the coronavirus pandemic: painting vehicles in different colours, and giving permission for vehicles painted in a particular colour to be out on particular days of the week.
This comes after vehicular movement continuing in Tamil Nadu despite the statewide lockdown from 6 pm on March 24 along with prohibitory orders under section 144 in all the districts; and the timings for grocery shops being reduced. To put an end to people visiting markets, which are often crowded, a few districts in the state have started painting vehicles and then designating when those vehicles can be used to run errands.
For example, the district administration of Krishnagiri district issued a notice on Thursday, which explained the significance behind painting the vehicles.
The notice issued by authorities in Hosur, Krishnagiri, read, “As a precautionary measure, all private vehicles in Hosur limits will be allowed only on specific days for buying essential goods/essential purposes as follows.” According to the notice, vehicles painted with a yellow band will be allowed to ply on Saturdays and Tuesdays; vehicles with a red band on them will be allowed to ply on Sundays and Wednesdays. Vehicles painted with green paint bands will be allowed to operate on Mondays and Thursdays.
“All these rules are for operating private vehicles like two-wheelers and cars between 6 am and 1 pm. No vehicles will be allowed to run on Fridays except for medical emergencies and the like. Our volunteers and policemen will be standing in the city market and painting vehicles with coloured bands,” Hosur DSP Sangu told TNM. These rules will come into force from April 11, Saturday. Those violating the rules will be liable to get their vehicles confiscated by the police and payment of fine,” the notice said.
The Salem city police had also implemented a similar system in the city limits a couple of days ago. The city police have been marking vehicles with different coloured bands, in order to keep an eye out for unwarranted movement in the city.
According to an official announcement by the Salem city police, vehicles marked with red colour on their number plates will be allowed to operate only on Fridays and Mondays. Vehicles with yellow paint on their number plates will be allowed to ply on Saturdays and Tuesdays and vehicles with green paint shall operate only on Sundays and Wednesdays. Vehicles without coloured bands will be allowed to operate on Thursday and given a green colour band, after which they can operate only on Sundays and Wednesdays.
Earlier, the government also restricted the timings at which shops that sell essential items like groceries and vegetables can operate in the state. Then, to further limit the time during which people can move out in the open, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami reduced the timings during which grocery shops can operate in the state: between 6 am to 1 pm every day. However, people have been venturing out every other day on the pretext of buying essential items, despite the Chief Minister requesting the public to try and reduce the number of purchases to once in a week.