Jharkhand allows intra-district movement except buses | Ranchi News

Ranchi: The Jharkhand government on Monday announced staggered reopening of the state from Tuesday onwards till June 30 in non-containment zones on the lines of nationwide advisories issued by the Centre on Saturday. However, the government has not allowed opening of temples, malls and restaurants in the Unlock 1.0 norms.
Under the state-specific guidelines issued by the state home, prison and disaster management department, the Hemant Soren government allowed plying of intra-district public transport vehicles like taxis, autorickshaws, e-rickshaws, cycle rickshaws except for city buses. For inter-district movement, one has to take e-passes while travelling in taxis, officials said.
The guidelines also allowed opening of more shops in district headquarters and urban areas. The shops included those dealing in heavy machinery, capital goods, consumer electronics, IT and telecom-related products and services, automobiles/cycles/tractors, jewellery, watches, kitchenware and furniture. In addition, garages and motor workshops in urban areas are also permitted while restaurants are only allowed for takeaway deliveries.
In his appeal to people, chief minister Hemant Soren said the safety norms should be followed with more alacrity. He said, “With the ease in lockdown, everyone must keep vigil. I appeal to all to compulsorily wear masks, use sanitizers and follow the safety norms while going out of your homes.”
Monday’s notification also said all prior relaxations issued for non-containment zones will remain unchanged. Currently, the state has over 135 such zones.
Talking to TOI, state rural development minister Alamgir Alam said the government’s priority is not only on giving momentum to trade activities and livelihoods, but to ensure safety for all. “You can expect some more relaxations in the coming days, if the situation improves. But in the last one week, there has been an explosion of coronavirus cases in the state and public safety is more important.”
An official at the CMO said, “Garment shops could be given permission to reopen in a couple of days, but the government isn’t very keen to open religious places, malls or other crowd magnets. For Jharkhand, spike in Covid-19 cases has just begun and this month is very crucial.”
Meanwhile, the state transport department has come up with standard operating procedures (SOP) for public transport within the district. Transport secretary K Ravi Kumar said valid vehicle permits will be deemed as movement pass. He said, “These vehicles can only ply on direct bookings, which means a vehicle can’t stop midway to pick up passengers. Use of masks, sanitizers will be mandatory and people should follow social-distancing norms onboard. There is also a ban on all kinds of tobacco products.”
To curb overloading, the department has also prescribed seat limits. A seven-seater vehicle can accommodate a maximum of 4 persons excluding the driver, four-seaters are allowed to take two passengers, cycle rickshaws can take only one person while e-rickshaws can’t allow more than two persons.
Kumar added, “Both passengers and drivers should exchange contact details so that they can provide information to the authorities in case the need for contact tracing arises.”

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