From TASMAC to trains, things that are happening in TN

The Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation on Thursday sold liquor worth Rs 170 crore. The revenue came from just 3,700 shops. The cash cow of the State government sells liquor worth Rs 85 crore to Rs 90 crore a day, on average.

Despite demands from opposition parties not to open TASMAC outlets during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation and the sale of liquor has commenced across the State on Thursday, except Chennai, Chengaplattu, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts.

From morning itself, tipplers thronged the TASMAC outlets, as the liquor shops were opened after a gap of 44 days. Volunteers employed by TASMAC management gave sanitizer to tipplers to clean their hands, before allowing them to buy liquor.

The Tamil Nadu government has prepared a list of patients and stranded guests from Bihar and West Bengal and said that they will be sent home by a special train in a day or two.

“We have gathered the particulars of all those hailing from Bihar and West Bengal, including patients at CMC Vellore, and migrant guests. They will be sent by a special train today or tomorrow,” Mangat Ram Sharma, the nodal officer appointed by Tamil Nadu government to oversee the movement of persons stranded due to the lockdown to and from the States and Union Territories told PTI.

Days before Koyambedu market, a wholesale hub in Chennai, emerged as a major hotspot leading to a spike of over 200 new Covid-19 cases, a team of researchers at IIT-Madras had submitted reports to state government officials based on their work on mobility data mapped from Facebook users. This was then integrated with data from the crowdsourced portal of covid19india.org.

These reports, which track lockdown violations and mass movements in the state, shared from March 22 with the state government officials, show how lockdown 3.0 is witnessing increased mobility, particularly in Chennai, especially during weekends.

The IIT-Madras team mapped the mobility data of Facebook users in every district in Tamil Nadu, and came up with an analysis on how lockdown compliance in Chennai was far less than in other districts.