Other States

Coronavirus | Punjab extends lockdown by two weeks, with limited relief

Punjab Police personnel stop buses carrying Sikh pilgrims on the outskirts of Amritsar on April 29, 2020.

Punjab Police personnel stop buses carrying Sikh pilgrims on the outskirts of Amritsar on April 29, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AFP

CM Amarinder Singh says restrictions are required for some more time

Punjab on Wednesday became the first State in the country to announce that it would extend the lockdown till May 17, while permitting the opening of shops in a staggered way on rotation for four hours every morning from April 30.

Also read: Coronavirus | Lower courts in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to hear only urgent matters

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in a video address also unveiled steps for limited lifting of the lockdown restrictions from April 30 in the non-containment and non-red zones.

Based on the report of the expert committee set up to formulate the State’s exit strategy, and the inputs received from various sections of society, the Chief Minister said it was necessary to continue with the lockdown restrictions for some more time.

The Chief Minister in his video address said the situation will be reviewed after two weeks and further relaxations will be announced thereafter if the pandemic remains in control.

Till May 17

The lockdown in the State will now remain in force in Punjab till May 17. The limited relaxations announced by the Chief Minister from Thursday include permission for opening of all registered shops, except those in multi-brand and single-brand malls, with 50% strength of workers from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The containment and red zones will, however, continue to remain under total and strict lockdown, said an official statement.

Deputy Commissioners have been directed to work out the rotational schedule for the shops that are allowed to be opened in line with the Chief Minister’s directives, which have come four days after the new Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines came into effect, said the statement.

In urban areas, all stand-alone shops, neighbourhood shops and shops in residential complexes are allowed to open during this period, as per the new directives, which make it clear, however, that establishments dealing in services like salons, barber shops etc., would continue to remain closed. Further, e-Commerce companies will continue to be permitted to deal in only essential goods during this period.

Constructiona activities

The Home Department has issued detailed guidelines to the district authorities to allow industrial activities across the State. Clarifying the scope of permissible construction activities specifically, whether for residential or commercial buildings, the State government has permitted new constructions in rural areas without any restrictions. In urban areas, work can continue only in ongoing projects, subject to availability of workers at the site.

Accordingly, construction activities in Clause 16 of the MHA guidelines of April 15 would include construction of houses-commercial-institutional buildings by individuals subject to conditions already imposed. Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Satish Chandra has issued detailed guidelines in this regard, ensuring industrial activities already permitted by the government of India, in the State. District authorities have been directed to call industrial associations for a meeting and persuade them to re-start operations in the permitted areas, the statement said.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 3:29:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-punjab-extends-lockdown-by-two-weeks-with-limited-relief/article31464537.ece

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