The lockdown in Telangana has been extended till May 29 with a few riders. The lockdown in State was to end on Thursday.
At a post-Cabinet press conference late on Tuesday night, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao said the decision to extend lockdown was taken irrespective of the Central government date for the same till May 17 for more effective implementation of restrictions to tackle COVID-19.
He assured to implement the Centre’s guidelines on lockdown in State but refused to accept its suggestion that shops be opened in the red zones numbering six in Telangana, including Hyderabad. Only house construction activity will be allowed in red zones and the consequent trade to sell cement, steel, hardware and electrical goods. Liquor shops will be permitted in the entire State as it shared borders with four other States where they are open.
Mr. Rao based the government’s decision on prolonged lockdown till May 29 on the feedback from doctors and informed people as also unanimity at the Cabinet meeting. However, the government will review the situation on May 15 going by the experience in opening up of markets in New Delhi, Chennai and Bengaluru.
In 27 districts covered by orange and green zones, Mr. Rao said all shops will be permitted on conditions. The shops will be allowed 100% in rural areas but only 50% shops can function alternately day-after-day in municipal areas. The selection of shops will be done by lottery. The shops will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m in these two zones but curfew conditions will be reimposed not only there but red zone from 7 p.m to 6 a.m.
Mr. Rao said land transactions by sub-registrar offices and road transport organisation offices will function 100% from Wednesday. Sand mining activity to aid construction activity will also open straight away.