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Stringent lockdown till April 20: Karnataka CM Yediyurappa enforces PM Modi’s direction

Meanwhile, Karnataka Excise Minister H Nagesh Tuesday said that liquor sales in the state would not resume soon, following the PM's direction to follow lockdown norms more strictly till April 20.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru | Updated: April 14, 2020 9:23:09 pm
Dissatisfaction, intense lobbying ahead of Feb 6 cabinet expansion in Karnataka Stating that violators of the lockdown measures will face stringent action, the CM said the state police force has seized as many as 57,633 vehicles to date.

Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address announcing the extension of the nationwide lockdown till May 3, Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa welcomed the move adding that the lockdown in place in the state will be followed and monitored more strictly.

“The lockdown will be followed more stringently till April 20 as Prime Minister said and the situation will be closely monitored. I appeal to the people of Karnataka to voluntarily cooperate with us to contain this disease,” Yediyurappa said. He added that the government will strictly implement all guidelines expected to be shared by the Centre on Wednesday. “As Prime Minister rightly said, healthcare facilities and infrastructure have been improved considerably in the past two months in the country and our state as well,” he added.

Stating that violators of the lockdown measures will face stringent action, the CM said the state police force has seized as many as 57,633 vehicles to date. “While 4139 people have been arrested, 2181 FIRs have been filed and fines amounting to Rs 95 lakh has been collected,” Yediyurappa said.

Elaborating on COVID-19 hotspots in the state, the CM said that the government will try to prioritise such regions to prevent further spread of the infection and to contain the disease. “However, I appeal again to all citizens to follow lockdown guidelines without fail. Stay home and be safe,” he said.

Yediyurappa also stated, “There is no scarcity of medicines, essential services, and goods. We will make all efforts to carry out agriculture activities without any hurdle. I make a special appeal to migrant labourers to stay wherever they are and be safe,” requesting citizens to follow the seven measures put forth by the PM on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) and South Western Railway (SWR) suspended operations of all trains till May 3.

Karnataka police launch helpline to reunite families in emergency situations

In a bid to help citizens reunite with their families in emergency situations, the Karnataka police began operations of an exclusive helpline on Tuesday. According to Karnataka DGP Praveen Sood, the helpline will help citizens reach their families in another city or a neighbouring state as a one-time measure in case of medical emergencies.

“We’ll TRY to facilitate and unite families within the city/state /states, as one time med emergency in the below cases ONLY: Child birth and Sad demise of a family member. Please arrange your own transport & medical transcriptions for verification. Call 22942300/ 2400/2500,” he tweeted.

Karnataka govt mulls SSLC exams in June

The Karnataka government is planning to conduct the SSLC exams in June after lockdown is expected to ease completely.

Confirming this, Deputy CM C N Ashwathnarayan Tuesday said, “We will try to conduct SSLC exams in June in the interest of students not losing out on further studies and further time of another academic year.”

However, Karnataka State Education Examination Board (KSEEB) Director V Sumangala told Indianexpress.com that a final decision is yet to be taken. “We will hold a meeting once the lockdown gets over and then notify the decision,” she said.

Validity of curfew passes extended till April 20

In the view of the lockdown being extended further, the Karnataka police Tuesday decided to extend the validity of curfew passes issued by respective police commissioners in the state till April 20.

BBMP-pourakarmika-coronavirus-screening BBMP pourakarmikas who are in charge of maintaining Bengaluru city clean undergo COVID-19 screening. Photo: Twitter/B H Anil Kumar IAS

“All the curfew passes (electronic or physical) issued by the office of Commissioner of Police will continue to be valid till April 20 without any further action. The policemen at the field level need to be informed and sensitised about it immediately. Electronic passes will show validity as April 14 but it should be automatically deemed as April 20,” an office memorandum signed by DG & IGP Praveen Sood read.

However, the DGP has directed cops to supervise the system closely as “citizens who have waited patiently till April 14 will be disappointed to some extent and agitated more than before.” The matter will be reviewed for further action after April 20, the top cop added.

Not possible to allow liquor sales till April 20: Excise Minister

Karnataka Excise Minister H Nagesh Tuesday said that liquor sales in the state would not resume till April 20, following the PM’s direction to follow lockdown norms more strictly till April 20.

“In the wake of the PM’s direction to follow lockdown norms more strictly, allowing liquor sales in shops across the state is not a viable option.

With people waiting for liquor shops to resume operations for a long while now, this would create uncontrollable crowds in such shops affecting social distancing as well. Hence, allowing liquor sales till April 20 will not be possible,” he said.

The minister’s clarification was made amid speculations that liquor selling outlets would resume from Wednesday as the 21-day lockdown proposed earlier by the PM to contain the spread of COVID-19 infections.

BBMP launches app to help relief work

Bengaluru’s local civic body the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) launched a new smartphone application named Sahaaya Setuve on Tuesday. According to BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar, the application is expected to bridge the gaps and to avoid duplication of efforts by several NGOs, BBMP and volunteers serving the needy as lockdown continues. “NGOs interested in joining hands with the BBMP during this lockdown can register themselves on bengalurucares.bbmpgov.in” he said.

BBMP-launch-Sahaya-Setuve-app Revenue Minister R Ashok and MP Tejasvi Surya launch Sahaya Sethuve app in Bengaluru. Photo: Photo: Twitter/B H Anil Kumar IAS

Meanwhile, with four more COVID-19-related deaths in the state, the death toll rose to ten in Karnataka on Wednesday. As many as 71 patients have recovered in the state so far as the total number of active cases is 179.

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