Burrabazar off limits to trucks
The Bengal government has decided not to allow trucks into Burrabazar, eastern India’s largest trading hub, because Covid-19 has rapidly spread in that part of central Calcutta.
“Our primary findings suggest Covid-19 is spreading in the Burrabazar and Jorasanko areas through the transporters entering Burrabazar with essential items,” said Calcutta mayor Firhad Hakim.
“We have asked police to find an alternative place, preferably an open area, where trucks would unload goods. The primary objective is to ensure that trucks from other states don’t enter Burrabazar,” added Hakim, who will take over as chairman of the CMC’s board of administrators from Friday.
Once the trucks unload goods in the alternative place, smaller vehicles could take them to the markets, officials in the government said. This was the model that was originally planned to decongest Burrabazar.
A truck terminal had been built in Howrah’s Dhulagarh, about 22km from the heart of Calcutta, but the proposal could not be implemented because of opposition from a section of traders and transporters.
According to Hakim, the majority of the Covid-19 positive cases in the past couple of weeks were being reported from Burrabazar and adjoining Jorasanko. “For example, 30 positive cases were reported in the city on Wednesday. Barring a few stray cases along EM Bypass, all other cases were reported from either Burrabazar or Jorasanko. This has been the trend for the past few weeks,” said Hakim.
Once trucks are prevented from entering the area, proper containment zones could be earmarked and initiatives like disinfection, health screening of local residents and complete lockdown measures could be implemented, CMC officials said.
Additional reporting by Subhajoy Roy