Open public transport, shops, offices in lockdown 4.0: Delhi to Centre

In public transport, the Kejriwal government has proposed starting auto-rickshaws with one passenger and cab services like Uber, Ola with two riders other than the driver.
If the Delhi government’s proposals for lockdown 4.0 are accepted by the Centre, public transport and shops will open up in the Capital from next week. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a meeting with chief ministers earlier this week, had sought suggestions from states for the next phase of the lockdown. In his address to the nation on Tuesday, the PM had pointed out that lockdown 4.0 would be different from the earlier versions.

After crowdsourcing ideas on how much curbs should remain to tackle the spread of coronavirus while restarting the economy, CM Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday submitted the state government’s suggestions to the Centre, an official in the know said.

The proposal, which was discussed with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal before sending to the Centre, has suggested that the system of zoning must be changed so that all of Delhi is not categorised under the red zone. Other than the containment zones in Delhi, the remaining locations should be open for business, the state government has said.

In public transport, the Kejriwal government has proposed starting auto-rickshaws with one passenger and cab services like Uber, Ola with two riders other than the driver. It also wants Metro rail service to ply during office hours, with no standing and with social distancing norms in place, a source said. Buses with a cap of 20 passengers have also been recommended.

As for offices, private organisations could call up to 70 per cent of the employees to the workplaces while the government can go up to 100 per cent, according to the proposal. However, Delhi has suggested to the Centre that any private firm with provision for work from home can allow its employees to avail the facility. Kejriwal received lockdown ideas from some 500,000 people in 24 hours, he said at a digital press conference on Thursday.

While restaurants and cafes will continue to remain shut, both on high street and malls, except for takeaways, there are other plans for shops. Replicating its odd and even scheme for cars, the Delhi government has suggested that shops should open going by their numbers. Whether it’s a shop in a mall or a marketplace, the one with odd number will open on one day and another with even number the next day, and so on with thermal screening etc. Liquor shops are also in the list  recommended for opening as the state needs revenues, the source said.

Protocol for hotels is believed to have found no mention in the proposal as inter-city travel is mostly out of bounds.  Delhi wants cinema halls, cultural shows, spas and barber shops to remain closed, while giving a green light to services such as Urban Company. The state government has proposed keeping schools and other education institutions closed till at least June 30. Among others which would remain closed if Delhi’s proposal is accepted are religious places. Also, no social gathering without any specific reason would be permitted.

Maha may extend lockdown in Covid hotspots till May 31

The Maharashtra government on Thursday expressed its intent to extend till May 31 the lockdown in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune, Solapur, Aurangabad, and Malegaon, which have emerged as Covid-19 hotspots. The possibility of extending the restrictions was discussed at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday. 

TN panel reiterates gradual lifting of lockdown in state

An expert committee of health professionals appointed by the Tamil Nadu government on Covid-19 on Thursday again favoured a staggered exit from the lockdown. The panel had a discussion with Chief Minister K Palaniswami and WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan.


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