CHITRAL: The district administration on Saturday started a general lockdown as a precautionary measure to check the spread of coronavirus due to which people mostly remained confined to their homes or stranded on roads for hours.
The Lowari tunnel was closed at night as announced early on Friday but after three hours hundreds of vehicles coming to Chitral from Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Islamabad were allowed entry.
Upon reaching in Chitral town, the vehicles were impounded and not allowed to go back.
Bus terminals gave a deserted look while except some shops the local markets remained closed.
Similar was the situation in Upper Chitral where polices topped public transport vehicles from to different areas.
People belonging to Upper Chitral arriving in Chitral town from the down districts faced extra trouble as they were not allowed to come out of the bus terminals. Most of the people remained stranded and some managed to reach Booni by changing vehicles, a student told ChitralToday on phone.
Deputy Commissioner Lower Chitral Naveed Ahmed said 70 transport vehicles had reached Chitral but they were not allowed to go back in order to send out a message to others not to bring passengers to Chitral.
He asked the people of Chitral to remain indoor and follow government’s direction to avoid the spread of the visrus.
This was also necessary to make the people realize the gravity of the situation and the impact of moving towards Chitral in such a large number.
Earlier in the day, a few vehicles were seen on different routes but later they were also impounded or stopped from moving inside Chitral.
Vehicles coming to Ayun from Chitral and Drosh sides were stopped at Chetar bridge. As a result, a large number of people were seen walking towards their destinations.
Similarly, vehicles bound to down districts from Chitral were stopped at Drosh. For the last about three days, visitors and locals are not being allowed to move towards the Kalash valleys.
Some local tourists going to Bumburate were on Saturday also turned away from Ayun.
Prices start going up
On the first day of the lockdown, prices of fruits, vegetables and saw a sharp increase in the town.
People here told ChitralToday that through it was necessary to restrict movement of people, there was an uncertainty about the mass closure. Many people had already started stocking kitchen items in their homes.
Vendors said they were running short of edibles and could not meet the rising demand by consumers.–Muhkam Uddin Ayuni