Punjab rules out relaxation in curfew till May 3

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Published: April 20, 2020 10:34:49 AM

Meanwhile, acting on the directives of the chief minister, DCs across the state are issuing separate notifications to maintain strict curfew restrictions in districts.

coronavirus, coronavirus in India, coronavirus lockdown, lockdown impact in India, coronavirus lockdown punjab, punjab orders on lockdown, captain amarinder singh, punjab government coronavirusThe move came after Chief Minister Amarinder Singh reviewed the current situation arising out of the coronavirus outbreak. (Representational image)

The Punjab government has ruled out any relaxation in the curfew till May 3 barring wheat procurement.

The move came after Chief Minister Amarinder Singh reviewed the current situation arising out of the coronavirus outbreak with senior officers from the administration and police department.

On Sunday evening, the chief minister ruled out any relaxation in the curfew, except as needed to ensure the procurement of wheat, till May 3, when he will again review the situation, a press release said. With the decision, all exemptions given from April 20 to industries in rural areas, booksellers, dhabas, shopkeepers dealing in air-conditioners and those involved in sand and gravel mining and stone crushing have been withdrawn.

The state government had allowed booksellers; dhabas; shops selling air-conditioners, coolers, fans; and those dealing in sand and gravel mining and stone crushing to operate.

In line with the Centre’s guidelines, industrial activity was also allowed in the state’s rural areas, provided that the operators of industries, employing 10 or more persons, make all arrangements for the stay or transport of workers.

Singh ordered strict enforcement of the curfew in all districts with no relaxation or concessions whatsoever even during Ramzan beginning this week.

He also made it clear that no special curfew passes should be issued to the people on account of Ramzan.

The chief minister directed deputy commissioners (DCs) to take firm steps to ensure that there is no crowding at shops selling essential items and all norms of social distancing are strictly adhered to, as per the latest release.

The decision assumes significance in the backdrop of various relaxations given by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for non-containment zones in the country, effective April 20.

However, taking into consideration the ground situation, the release said the chief minister was of the firm view that there should be no relaxation, except already announced by his government with respect to harvesting and procurement operations.

Singh made it clear that all efforts should be focused on saving lives and ensuring that the procurement operations are conducted smoothly in a coronavirus-free environment.

Any decision on the way forward will be taken after May 3, taking into account the situation prevailing then and the report of the expert committee set up to formulate the state’s exit strategy, the statement said, adding that the panel is expected to submit its report this week.

Amid concerns that the hygiene conditions were not up to the mark in the mandis, the chief minister has also ordered a health audit of these centres, where 185 lakh metric tonnes of wheat is expected to arrive till June, when the procurement will come to an end.

This will infuse around Rs 35,000 crore, including the cash credit limit payment of Rs 26,000 crore received from the Centre, into the state economy, thus giving it the much-needed support to fight the COVID-19 battle effectively.

Meanwhile, acting on the directives of the chief minister, DCs across the state are issuing separate notifications to maintain strict curfew restrictions in districts.

Any violation shall invite criminal proceedings under the relevant provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and the Indian Penal Code, 1860, release said.

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