Lockdown restrictions were eased in most districts of Karnataka, including Bengaluru, on Monday. Karnataka had initially gone into lockdown on April 27 after the number of COVID-19 cases spiked amidst the onset of the second wave. In this unlock, restrictions had eased and several establishments were allowed to open, including metro and bus services at 100% occupancy, hotels, markets and malls.
Bengaluru witnessed a spike in vehicular traffic on Monday and it resulted in traffic jams in the heart of the city including roads near Majestic, Townhall and KR Market.
Moderate crowds were seen in Kempegowda Bus Station (KBS). However, some buses were seen as having enough space inside, with no excessive crowding. Speaking to TNM, Divisional Traffic Manager Manjunath of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) said that there was no significant increase in crowds compared to Friday, before the weekend curfew was imposed. BMTC had started operations from June 21 and had said that they would operate 2000 buses. However, BMTC ultimately ended up operating over 3100 buses on the same day due to the higher demand.
People waiting to board buses at the Kempegowda Bus Station in Bengaluru
Passengers alighting from the bus at Kempegowda Bus Station
Several people in KBS were seen flouting COVID-19 protocols and were not wearing masks properly. TNM saw two teams of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) marshals enforcing COVID-19 appropriate behavior. The marshals would impose a fine on those who failed to wear masks. Following this, the marshals provided masks to those who had been fined.
A BBMP Marshall hands a mask to a violator after fining them for not following COVID-appropriate behaviour
Krishna Rajendra Market or more commonly known as City Market or KR Market witnessed massive congestion and also saw heavy crowds. However, several vendors complained that they havenâ€™t had good business for the entire day. One vendor told TNM that most people were travelling to different places through City Market and were not customers. Several vendors could be seen selling different products including clothes, flowers and fruits. However, there werenâ€™t many customers.
Crowd flocked to KR Market or City Market after lockdown restrictions were eased on Monday
Fruit vendors at the city market await customers' arrival
After the lockdown, Monday was the first day malls were allowed to open. TNM visited Mantri Square mall, and saw several shoppers in its stores. However, there were no crowds. Corridors were mostly empty. Most of the food outlets were closed and the food courts themselves remained mostly empty with a very few people.
Mantri Mall in Bengaluru saw shoppers rush in as the malls opened for people on Monday
The Food Court at Mantri Mall was desolate due to less footfall