SHILLONG, May 8: The Meghalaya government appears lax in enforcing the lockdown that has been extended in East Khasi Hills to check the COVID spread.
Many in localities such as Jhalupara, Mawbah, Laitumkhrah and Nongmensong in Shillong are seen moving about throughout the day without any fear of being fined or reprimanded for violating the lockdown guidelines.
In Jhalupara and Mawbah, fruit shops are set up in the evening while people go out for post-dusk strolls without any policeman or magistrate telling them to stay indoors.
There are similar scenes in other localities of the city. Many vehicles are also seen plying without passes.
Former Home Minister R.G. Lyngdoh said power should be delegated to the Rangbah Shnong for enforcing the restrictions for the government to focus on ramping up the health infrastructure and go for an aggressive vaccination drive.
He said the government should also spare a thought about non-COVID patients needing treatment.
“The authorities can set up temporary COVID shelters in stadiums and sports complexes besides improving infrastructure in far-flung areas to lessen the pressure on the hospitals in Shillong,” he said.
Social activist Michael Kharsyntiew said people should be discouraged from over purchasing essentials.
“People were marketing in localities such as Mawbah-Jhalupara, Jaiaw and Nongmensong as if a festival is on. How much do we seriously need?” he asked.
He said a few big traders who have the resources should be given permission to deliver goods directly to retailers on a rotation basis to prevent people from flocking wholesale markets to stock up.
“We won’t die without meat or fish or vegetables on our plate for a few days. But we will surely be massacred with this infection rate. We should have learnt our lesson in a year. Not everything is the administration’s fault,” he added.
But a woman, requesting anonymity, faulted the authorities for not being strict in imposing the lockdown.
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