Modi, Shah discuss CMs’ views: Social distancing must but need to push up economic activities
Two days before lockdown 4.0 ends, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday discussed about the views of Chief Ministers on further opening up several sectors of economy with strict social distancing norms if the lockdown were to be continued beyond May 31.
For the past three days, the Home Minister was collecting inputs and suggestions from all Chief Ministers. Highly placed officials say the Centre may give more power to the States to decide on opening up the economic activities and defining containment zones.
Many Chief Ministers have reportedly preferred the continuation of the lockdown, but there is a near consensus on opening up many sectors as well as malls and public transports, including metro services.
While all Chief Ministers urged the Home Minister to speed up economic activities and gradual return of public life, they also expressed their apprehension about being flooded with surge of patients when the country relaxes the strict lockdown norms.
As per sources, two special Covid-19 panels set up by the Centre have submitted their recommendations for the exit strategy. The panels have suggested that the Centre should do away with all lockdown curbs except keeping schools, colleges, movie halls and religious places closed till situation improves.
The panel has also recommended not to reopen inter-State travel and said that the efforts should be directed towards strengthening containment measures in the worst-hit districts.
The worst-hit 13 districts are: Municipalities of Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi/New Delhi, Ahmadabad, Thane, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata/Howrah, Indore, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Chengalpattu (Tamil Nadu) and Thiruvallur (Tamil Nadu).
These 13 districts are having 70 per cent of the positive cases in India. The Centre and the States of these 13 cities have already decided a plan on the geographical definition of containment zones.
The Home Minister also apprised the Prime Minister of the outcome of the talks between the Cabinet Secretary and 13 Municipal Commissioners and District Magistrates from the sensitive cities.
The Central Government is expected to announce its decision on the lockdown within the next two days. Prime Minister may speak up on this on May 31 scheduled “Mann Ki Baat”, said officials.
At present, the current lockdown rules prohibits opening up of hotels, malls, public transports in containments zones. There is expected to be a dilution on this and shops inside the malls and hotels may be allowed to open with limited number of entries.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said all religious places will be allowed to open in the State from June 1 but not more than 10 people can pray at a time.
“Temples, Gurudwaras, Mosques and all religious places in the State are closed. They will open from June 1 but not more than 10 people will be allowed at any given point of time. No assembly would be allowed in religious places,” Mamata said.
Religious places have remained shut across the country ever since the nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25 to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has sought the permission of the Centre to open up places of worship, hotels, motels , lodges, and insisted that State’s must have authority to check the health status of the people coming from major containment zones in the country.
At the same time, Goa CM Pramod Sawant told media that he informed Centre that the lockdown should continue but the hospitality sector in the State should be permitted to open up.
The Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijyan has expressed apprehension about allowing places of worship to open. After flattening the curve, the State has seen a resurgence of numbers as train and air travel restarted. Many North-Eastern states, where the coronavirus numbers started spiking only after the Centre opened up rail and air travel, have told the Centre for thorough checking of passengers from the containment zones itself.
Saturday, 30 May 2020 | PNS | New Delhi
You might also like
- Pak frees missing diplomatic staffers June 16, 2020
- Covid-19 toll reaches 1845 in U’khand June 16, 2020
- CM chairs first meeting of CAMPA governing body June 16, 2020
- HRDI develops herbal tea for morning, evening & night June 16, 2020
- Doubts of Nepalis regarding Dharchula road can be cleared through dialogue: Defence minister June 16, 2020