Even as the number of coronavirus cases are on the rise in urban areas of Karnataka, villages across Mysuru, Mandya, Chamarajnagar and Hassan, blocked the roads to restrict the entry of outsiders.
Some villagers insisted that the outsiders should first get screened at the district health hospital and if only they showed no symptoms they’d be allowed to enter.
After people started relocating to their native places on foot following the 21-day countrywide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several villager in the state resorted to the move and started implementing the same.
In one of the villages, the chief imposed a fine of ₹1000 for those who were seen on the roads unnecessarily during the curfew hours and on those who violate the social distancing norms. The youngsters in the villages made public appeal using loudspeakers asking people to maintain physical distance and hygiene.
Villages such as Haradanahalli in Hassan, Honganur in Chamarajnagar, Hanchya Sathagalli in Mysuru, Melukote in Mandya barricaded the roads and guarded the place in order to restrict the entry of outsiders and the risk of infecting others.
In Melukote, a pilgrim destination, barred outsiders from entering the temple and the villagers by blocking roads.
In Hassan’s Haradanahalli village, JDS stalwart HD Deve Gowda’s hometown, a resident told The New Indian Express that the motive of barricading the village was to protect the village from the infection as even a slight negligence may result in a tragedy.
Considering that a majority of the cases emerged from urban areas and the Chief Minister requested urban dwellers not to venture into rural areas, the villagers thought of guarding the entrance to keep tab on outsiders.
In Hanchya Sathagalli in Mysuru, people coming from Bengaluru were not let in without them undergoing medical screening at the nearby government hospital. According to reports, sign boards for COVID-19 awareness were also displayed.
In Bengaluru, anybody going outside the city on the National Highway 4 had a freeway. But those entering the city were thoroughly checked by the local traffic and civic police near the toll gate. Some of the over bridges on the NH4 were also closed for movement of vehicles.
Two constables and three senior officers guarded the check points in Hosakote near toll gate. They let only those vehicles which had valid permissions like those of milk/vegetable vans, ambulances, patients going to hospitals and for government officials on duty to enter the state borers. Rest were sent back.
Meanwhile, in Honganur village in Chamarajnagar district, the village chief announced fines of ₹1,000 to ₹2,000 on people who gather in violation of physical distance norms.