New Delhi: Taking strong objection to the Kerala government’s decision to allow opening of restaurants, public transport, MSME industries in municipal areas, the Narendra Modi-led government on Monday said that it amounts to dilution of Centre’s lockdown guidelines. Also Read - As COVID-9 Cases Cross 400-mark, Kerala to Implement Odd-even Formula in State From Monday
“The state government on April 17 has circulated revised guidelines for lockdown measures which allowed opening of activities which are prohibited in the Centre’s consolidated revised guidelines issued on April 15. This amounts to dilution of guidelines issued by the home ministry and violation of its April 15 order issued under the Disaster Management Act 2005”, the MHA said in a letter to the Kerala government. Also Read - Two States, Two Stories: Yes, We Have Flattened The Curve, Says Kerala; Maharashtra Fights Worst Battle
Such additional activities allowed by the government of Kerala, include opening of local workshops, barber shops, restaurants, book stores, MSMEs in municipal limits, bus travel in cities and towns for shorter distance, two passengers in the back seat of four wheeler and pillion riding on scooters. Also Read - Kerala to Reopen in Staggered Manner From Monday, Implement Odd-Even Scheme in Non-Hotspot Areas
Earlier on Sunday, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla had also written a letter to the states and UTs asking them to strictly follow the directions issued by the centre for the containment of the novel coronavirus outbreak which has claimed more than 500 lives across India so far.
Citing an observation made by the Supreme Court last month, the government asserted that states making their own list of essential activities is not permissible.
“I would again urge you to ensure compliance of the revised consolidated guidleienes, and direct all concerned authorities for their strict implementation in letter and spirit without any dilution and to ensure strict compliance of lockdown,” the letter reportedly reads.
Notably, the Kerala government has decided to reopen the state in a staggered manner from today by dividing the state into 4 zones- Red, Orange A, Orange B and Green.
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot also said that he will be implementing modified lockdown from April 20 till May 3. “Our priority is to completely stop transmission of COVID-19, but at the same time efforts are being made to start economic activities. During #ModifiedLockdown, it will be ensured that social distancing is maintained during industrial activities,following guidelines of central govenrment,”Gehlot tweeted.