K'taka announces lockdown relaxation from April 21, then withdraws partly
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Saturday announced relaxation in lockdown from April 21, but late in the evening rolled back certain provisions. He announced reimposition of ban on motorbike rides and IT-BT employees working from offices across the state, especially in Bengaluru.
"The decision to allow 2-wheeler rides in non-Covid-19 zones and permitting 33 per cent of IT-BT employees to go to office from April 1 is withdrawn on public demand," said Yediyurappa in a press note.
Earlier in the day, the chief minister announced that the extended lockdown would be partially relaxed from April 21 across the state, excluding coronavirus hotspots, to restore normal life gradually, after a meeting with some senior ministers and officials here.
Criticism of the 'hasty' decision, taken without consulting all, by some ministers and opposition Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar forced the chief minister to withdraw it as 'public demand.'
The partial relaxation will, however, allow for plying of cars already issued passes. No new passes will be issued till May 3, when the extended lockdown ends.
"Only IT-BT employees of essential services will be allowed to go to office, while others will work from home," the note clarified.
Extending the 21-day lockdown from April 15 to May 3, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 14 said that areas not in the hotspot category would be allowed to open for necessary activities from April 20.
Construction activities will be allowed, except in hotspots, with the condition that workers will have to stay at the site with all facilities, including food, water and shelter.
"Malls, showrooms and cinema theatres will remain closed during the extended lockdown. New shops will not be allowed to open till May 3," said the statement.
Inter-district travel will also not be allowed during the partial lockdown.
"Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural and Ramanagara will be considered as one district for the movement of industrial workers," noted the statement.
Ban order under Section 144 of the CrPC will remain in place till May 3.
Wearing of face masks in public will be mandatory. Spitting in public places will be banned and violators fined.
In the hotspots, where the number of positive cases has been high, an incident commander will be appointed in each containment zone, who will be assisted by the local police and health officials.
"The commander, with magisterial powers, will be responsible to contain crowds and provide basic amenities in the contained zones," asserted the statement.
People in the buffer zones of 3km radius will be subjected to medical check-up to ensure they are healthy and virus-free.
"Senior citizens and persons vulnerable to diseases should remain indoors for the next three months," added the statement. IANS