Friday June 14, 2024

Effective implementation of smart lockdown fails on very first day

By Oonib Azam
June 19, 2020

On the first day of the smart lockdown on Thursday, Karachi’s district administration failed to effectively close down the areas marked as novel coronavirus hotspots, where the markets and streets teemed with people until late night.

Areas that were supposed to be completely locked down in District East’s Gulistan-e-Jauhar and Gulshan-e-Iqbal neighbourhoods, in District Central’s North Karachi neighbourhood, and in District South’s Lyari and Kharadar neighbourhoods remained open as late as until 9pm, and in some cases, until late night, with the hustle and bustle of shoppers quite evident.

The deputy commissioners of all the six districts of the city were required to implement the smart lockdown by 7pm on Thursday in various pockets of their respective districts for two weeks.

According to a notification issued by the commissioner’s office, a complete lockdown is to be enforced in the streets and localities of the specified areas in different union councils for a fortnight until July 2 on the recommendations of the Sindh Health Department.

Locked down areas

In District Korangi, the following areas will be under a two-week lockdown: Korangi Town’s UC-2 Makhdoom Bilawal, Qayyumabad A & B, Allahwalla Town, Nasir Colony, P&T Colony and Darrusalam; Malir Town’s UC-1 Moinabad Phase 3, S1, 35/3 Model Colony, Jaffar Bagh and Nashtar Square; Landhi Town’s UC-9 36-B Area near Street Rehmania Masjid, Awami Colony, the Imambargah Wali Asar area and the Power House area; and in Shah Faisal Town’s UC-7 Millat Town, Al-Falah Society, Malir Halt, UC-9 CAA Colony, Cantt Bazaar and Old Iqbalabad.

In District South, the following areas will be closed: UC Karachi Cantonment’s Bizerta Line and Doli Khata; UC Kharadar-3’s Lea Market; UC Saddar-8’s Burnes Road; MA Jinnah Road; main Saddar; Urdu Bazaar; UC Phase-VI’s Khayaban-e-Badar and Muhafiz; and UC Lyari’s Agra Taj 2 and Bihar Colony.

District East has the highest number of localities to be locked down: Gulshan Town’s UC-1 Muhammad Ali Society, UC-2 Bahadurabad and Block 14, UC-4 Essa Nagri, UC-6 Block-13 (A&C), UC-7 Gulshan-e-Jamal, UC-8 13-D/II, UC-9 Block-7, UC-10 Blocks 14, 15 and 11, Gulistan-e-Jauhar Block-2, UC-12 Sachal Goth and Rabia Petal, UC-13 Safoora, UC-14 Rufi Lake Drive Inn and Gulistan-e-Jauhar Block-13; Jamshed Town’s UC-6 PECHS Block-2 Tariq Road and Block-6, UC-7 PECHS Block-2 and Block-6, UC-8 Balti Mohalla, UC-10 Martin Quarters and Fatima Jinnah Colony, UC-11 Jamaat Khana, Jehangir Road Quarters No. 2, Jehangir Road No. 1 Teen Hatti and Bijli Ground, and UC-12 Soldier Bazaar and Numaish.

In District West, the areas under lockdown will be UC-3 (Isman Nagar) Naval Colony, Sector 4, UC-4 Metroville Block-3, UC-5 Saeedabad 5G, 5J and A3, UC-5 (Songal) Gulshan-e-Maymar and Khuda Ki Basti Phase-2, UC-6 Frontier Colony Sector 4 & 5 Malakand Hospital and Ismaili Quarters and UC-6 (Ghaziabad) Christian Colony.

In District Malir, the following localities will be closed: UC-1 Muzaffarabad’s D-Area, main commercial market road from 50-bed hospital to 52 Wing Pakistan Rangers, Old Area, Jacob Line, Majeed Colony Sector I and II, Muzaffarabad Rehri Road, main markets from Hospital Chowrangi to Hussain Chowrangi, UC-3 (Cattle Colony) Road No. 9, complete commercial market area, Gulshan-e-Hadeed commercial markets of Phase I and II, UC-3 Dawood Chowrangi to 89 petrol pump, UC-4 Quaidabad, Gosht Gali, Murghi Khana, Majeed Panwala area near mobile market and UC-5 Jaffer-e-Tayyar’s Jinnah Square commercial market.

In District Central, the areas where movement of people will be restricted for a period of 14 days, are Gulberg, selected streets of Joharabad, North Karachi Sector 11-E and selected streets of the Anarkali Market.

The SOPs

“Anyone entering or exiting the locked down area has to wear a mask without any exception. Movement of people residing in the areas under a lockdown will be strictly restricted,” reads the standard operation procedures (SOPs) issued by the commissioner’s office for the smart lockdown.

The SOPs only allow grocery shops, convenience stores and pharmacies to remain open in the locked down areas during specific timings allowed by the provincial government. “All the other business activities will strictly remain closed without any exception. All industrial units falling in these areas will remain closed.”

Home deliveries and takeaways from restaurants and fast food joints is also forbidden in the locked down areas.

Only one person of every household will be allowed outside to buy food items and medicines by displaying their original CNIC to the law enforcers on duty. “Only one attendant, where extremely necessary, will be allowed with a person in need of medical care.”

Private or family get-togethers are strictly forbidden in homes. Joy rides are also banned in such areas, and residents need to have a valid reason for going out of their homes. “Pillion riding will be strictly banned in these areas.”

All public transport, including rickshaws, taxis and ride-hailing services, are banned from plying in these areas. The government, according to the notification, will make every effort to provide rations to the needy residing in these areas through philanthropic organisations and by employing its own resources. The government will also make efforts to provide mobile dispensaries and mobile utility stores in these areas.

Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani has directed all the DCs to provide logistic support to implement the smart lockdown in close coordination with the health department and the law enforcement agencies.

The DCs are also required to ensure a proper lockdown security plan in coordination with the respective deputy inspectors general of police. The DCs will also take on board the district chairmen, the district municipal corporations’ chairmen of UCs, members of the peace committees and renowned philanthropists of the localities. Under the directives of the home department, the DCs can also penalise those violating the lockdown rules.