Other States

Will extend lockdown, won’t impose night curfew: Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee. File photo

Mamata Banerjee. File photo  

Curfews imposed under extreme circumstances such as riots, says Bengal CM

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said the State would extend the lockdown till May 31 as per the notification of the Centre but would not impose night curfew.

Also read | Mamata Banerjee will pay heavy price in West Bengal polls for mishandling COVID-19 crisis: Vijayvargiya

Speaking to presspersons at the State Secretariat here, she urged people not to venture out of their homes between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. and warned of police action. Curfews were imposed under extreme circumstances such as riots and her government would not impose night curfew as directed by the Centre, she said.

Ms. Banerjee announced that apart from the 105 trains requisitioned, her government would request the Railways for another 120 Shramik Special trains in the next few days to bring back migrant workers. “Already, 16 trains have arrived and about 2.5 to 3 lakh workers have returned through trains and buses. We are planning for 10 trains to arrive everyday, but it cannot be done at once. The State needs time for planning.”

Containment areas, she said, would be further divided into three categories — affected, buffer and clean zones. Accordingly relaxations would be allowed, she said. All shops, except in shopping malls, and district buses would be operational from May 21. A committee of civic and police officials would look into the resumption of roadside shops and those in markets. The committee would also give a number to the shops and odd and even shops would be allowed to operate on alternate days from May 27. Barber shops and beauty parlours could function, but should maintain proper hygiene take and take necessary precautions.

First flight arrives

The Chief Minister said the first repatriation flight from Bangladesh arrived in Kolkata on Monday. The flight, with about 169 passengers, arrived from Dhaka at 12.30 p.m. The passengers, including students and stranded tourists, would have to go into institutional quarantine for a stipulated time.

While emphasising that there was muted celebration for ‘Poila Boishak’ (Bengali New Year) this year because of the lockdown, Ms. Banerjee urged members of the minority community to avoid any gatherings during Id-ul Fitr.

Referring to the economic package by the Centre, the Chief Minister said that it had not been of any help to the State. On the Centre’s decision to increase the borrowing limit of States from 3% to 5% of the gross State domestic product (GSDP) in 2020-21, she said that it came with a number of riders where the States had to “give up on its autonomy”. West Bengal would not give up its autonomy, she said.

“We have not got anything from the Centre to help us in the management of COVID-19,” she added.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 12:05:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/will-extend-lockdown-wont-impose-night-curfew-mamata-banerjee/article31617253.ece

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