Several restrictions will come into force from Friday, ahead of the elections to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation on Sunday. A lowdown of the curbs:
All liquor shops and bars in the 144 wards of Kolkata Municipal Corporation will remain shut from Friday till the end of polls on Sunday.
Officers from local police stations have conveyed the order of the state election commission about the closure to the establishments.
“Bars and offshops can open after 5pm on Sunday when the polling ends,” said an officer of the excise department.
Officials said any violation of the order could result in suspension of licence.
Beginning Friday evening, the police will start scanning vehicles carrying people in groups into Kolkata from adjoining areas, such as Howrah, Hooghly, the two 24-Parganas and Salt Lake.
Checks will be carried out on all key thoroughfares with officers stopping vehicles and enquiring about the purpose of visit.
Fifty checkpoints have been set up and officers have been deployed.
“On the polling day, no individual or group will be allowed to enter the city without a valid reason from adjoining areas,” said a police officer at Lalbazar overseeing security for the civic polls.
“Necessary instructions have been conveyed to the police commissionerates of Howrah, Bidhannagar, Barrackpore and also to the police superintendents of Diamond Harbour and Baruipur police districts.”
Motorcycle rallies will be banned on the polling day.
On the day of the polls, not more than three persons will be allowed to gather within 200 metres of polling stations. No vehicle is supposed to enter the restricted zone.
On Sunday, markets will be allowed to remain open during the usual hours. Police officers have been instructed to keep a watch on all unnecessary gatherings outside markets and in front of shops near polling stations.
In the vicinity of the polling booths, standalone shops, including those selling tea, snacks or grocery and inviting a steady stream of people will be shut.
Malls and shopping arcades within 200 metres of a polling station will be shut during polling on Sunday because of the prohibitory orders on gatherings. Congregation of people in an area within 200 metres of any polling venue is banned under Section 144 of the CrPC, which bans assembly of four or more persons.
Malls beyond 200 metres of a polling venue can remain open on Sunday.
All malls and shopping arcades will be allowed to operate after 5pm.
Hotels and lodges
Eateries and restaurants within 200 metres of a polling station will remain shut till 5pm on Sunday to avoid gatherings of more than three persons. Beyond the 200-metre mark, they can remain open but under police scanner.
Beginning Friday, the police will start checking registers of hotels and lodges to scan identities of guests, particularly those who have checked-in in groups. Visitors will be advised to stay inside on Sunday till the polls are over.