Altaf Hamid Rao.
MIRPUR (AJK) , (Parliament Times) : Daily life was partially paralyzed in entire Azad Jammu Kashmir, including this picturesque lake-district of Mirpur, as the entire region remained under the ongoing much-disciplined 09-day full nation-wide lock down – the 4th consecutive day on Tuesday.
Masses at large scale across the city and rest of the district mostly adhered to the prohibitory orders / SOPs to help authorities stopped the spread of corona virus, that has gripped this ancestral district of over a million of the UK-based Kashmiri expatriates- in its ongoing third spell – mostly sharp as compared to the past two spikes.
Like across the country including AJK, local district administration had imposed 09 days full lockdown, across the district with effect from May 08 to avert the threat of rapid spreading of the corona virus in its ongoing third spell.
The lockdown clamped the district to disband the daily life for the sake of overcoming the spread of the epidemic.
The streets continued giving deserted look as the shops, shopping malls and major business centers remained closed except only the medical stores, milk, vegetables and fruits shops and petrol pumps.
All kinds of inter-city, inter-district and inter-provincial transport was halted to and from Mirpur Azad Jammu Kashmir during the lock-down.
All universities, schools and colleges were already closed, besides closure of offices of all private and public-sector departments except banks and financial institutions across AJK following the lock-down to avert threat of the spread of the virus that engulfed entire district leaving the fatality of over 200 persons so far since the outbreak of the pandemic since about one and half of an year ago besides affecting the daily life paralyzed in this much affected district – since the outburst of the pandemic last year.
The district administration had announced imposition of the lock down throughout the district till May 16 without any break to combat the pandemic that had already threatened major parts of the world including Pakistan and AJK.
National and regional Newspapers could not reach their respective destinations in the lock-downed district holding the country’s largest reservoir of Mangla dam in its lap, following the suspension of all kinds of vehicular traffic to and from the district during the lockdown slapped because of the continual rising spread of the pandemic with prime focus to overcome the virus completely.
This correspondent visited various deserted streets of Mirpur city Tuesday to assess the gravity of the situation and found duty officials of the law enforcement agencies and civic bodies including Deputy Commissioner Bader Muneer, SSP Raja Irfan Saleem, Additional SP Raja Azhar Iabal, SDM Munir Queshi, DSP Malik Ehsan and others fully alert and vigilant monitoring and ensuring complete lockdown in the district including the city and the areas in its outskirts, besides supervising the measures to combat the epidemic through required means.
All kinds of private vehicles, inter-provincial, inter-district and inter-city public transport which was suspended from May 08 – the day first of the 09-day nation-wide full lock down to be continued totally banning the public transport’s operation till May 16. However, government is ensuring the uninterrupted supply of edibles and pharmaceutical items. Journalists were exempted to move, during lockdown.
Municipal services, electricity, water supply SCO and certain major branches of the scheduled banks and other institutions of essential services also continue working with the minimum staff. Petrol pumps also remained opened during the lock-down.
Holding of the marriage parties at the marriage halls have also been fully prohibited as all the marriage halls across the district have already been closed down till the stipulated time frame by the end of this month.
Besides, all kind of gatherings including the political and religious congregations have also been banned and hotels and shopping malls would remain close during entire stipulated period of the lockdown across the district.
The government employees of the essential services institutions have been directed to keep their CNIC and other passes if issued by their department with them during the due needed movement.
Authorities have advised the public to participate in the funeral ceremonies in minimum numbers and last burial rituals only by the close relatives of the grieved families.
The district authorities have, meanwhile, directed the duty magistrates to to initiate strict action against those involved in hoarding or profiteering during and after the lock-down period in the district. .
Meanwhile, AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider has sought full cooperation by the masses across the Corona-riddled AJK especially the population of the most affected areas by strictly acting upon the SOPs by observing social distancing and all other precautionary measures underlined in the State medical advisory to help stop the virus spread in the much-affected areas.