With lockdowns announced in neighbouring Kerala and Karnataka too, vehicular movement in Tamil Nadu’s border areas has come down.
At the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border in Coimbatore district, revenue and police officials at the Walayar checkpost have been joined by Health Department officials.
Officials said that the vehicular traffic is very low as due to the lockdown in both states, an e-pass is mandatory for interstate travel. Goods vehicles with essential commodities as well as vehicles with medicines are allowed.
Talking to IANS, Tamil Nadu Police officer M.Ranganathan, on duty at Walayar, said: “We have allowed vehicles moving for essential services as well as medical emergencies. Also goods vehicles were given permission.”
In Valparai in Coimbatore, officials are allowing agriculture workers to cross the borders. Deputy Superintendent of Police, Vivekanandan told IANS that they allowed agriculture workers to go for work “as there is a regular movement of workers though this border town”.
Tamil Nadu’s borders with Puducherry were sealed in Villupuram, Cuddalore, and Kallakurichi.
At Cuddalore alone, 1500 police personnel are deployed to prevent the movement of inter-state vehicles and people. Police have also made several announcements asking people not to venture out of their homes.
At the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border at Kaliyakkavilai, police have tightened vigil as there is a possibility of people crossing the border as friends and relatives are living across. Also several people from Kerala come to Tamil Nadu to buy things, but with the lockdown in force, this is also curtailed.
Mini truck driver P.R. Balakrishnan said: “I regularly go to Tamil Nadu to buy goods as we get a large variety and the price is less compared to within Kerala. After TN declared a lockdown from Monday, I did not venture out and am now at my village in Kerala. Why travel unnecessarily?”