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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Fresh Curbs in Haryana: Only half the staff to attend govt offices, staggered entry-exit timings

“Persons with disabilities and pregnant women employees shall be exempted from attending office but are required to work from home,” read the instructions issued by the office of Chief Secretary Sanjeev Kaushal.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: January 4, 2022 8:56:55 pm
Gurgaon active cases, Gurgaon covid cases, Gurgaon deaths, Gurgaon fatalities, Gurgaon news, Delhi news, Indian expressPeople above 45 years old queue up for second dose of Covid Vaccine, in Sector 31, Gurgaon, Haryana. (Express Photo: Abhinav Saha)

Amid a fresh surge in Covid-19 cases, including that of Omicron variant, Haryana government Tuesday imposed more restrictions, including directing only 50 percent of government staff to physically attend offices. However, all officers of the level of Under Secretary, equivalent and above have to attend office regularly.

“A roster may be prepared accordingly by all the departments concerned, said a government order. Persons with disabilities and pregnant women employees shall be exempted from attending office but are required to work from home,” read the instructions issued by the office of Chief Secretary Sanjeev Kaushal.

The communication from the chief secretary, addressed to all administrative secretaries, heads of departments and Commissioners of all divisions and the Deputy Commissioners, said, “The matter regarding regulating attendance of state government employees has been reviewed and it has been decided that all the government offices/departments etc. shall follow the following preventive measures with immediate effect, till January 20”.

“To avoid a rush during commuting and in lifts and corridors, all personnel shall stagger entry and exit timings, that is, spread entry to office between 9 am and 10am and corresponding exit time. All officials residing in containment zones shall continue to be exempted from coming to office till the containment zone is denotified,” it added.

Meetings, as far as possible, shall be conducted on video-conferencing and personal meetings with visitors, unless absolutely necessary in public interest are to be avoided.

All staff has been directed to ensure strict compliance with Covid-appropriate behaviour which includes frequent hand washing, sanitisation, wearing a face mask, observing social distancing.

Entry of visitors to the government offices shall be curbed appropriately.

Proper cleaning and frequent sanitisation of the workplace, particularly of the frequently touched surfaces shall be ensured by the head of department or head of the office, the order said

Earlier, authorities had on January 1 ordered the closure of cinema halls, multiplexes and sports complexes in five districts of Ambala, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Panchkula and Sonipat from January 2 to 12. Malls and markets were allowed to open only till 5pm during this period in these five districts.

Meanwhile, liquor shop owners and workers in Gurgaon protested against the restriction and demanded that they should be allowed to open vends till 11pm.

The protesters, who gathered at the office of the excise department and submitted a memorandum addressed to the chief minister, claimed 80 per cent of their sales were after 5pm and said they will be forced to shut shop due to heavy losses if the government does not pay heed to their demand.

“During the complete lockdown our shops were closed but the government gave us relaxation. Now we gave given excise tax but are not earning enough to manage our staff. We are ready to comply with the guideline and SOPs, but our shops should be open till 11pm,” said Rohit Yadav, a liquor shop owner.

Vikram Yadav, another liquor shop owner, claimed the government move will only encourage the illegal sale of liquor.

When asked about it, VK Beniwal, the Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner, said that the order of closure of liquor shops is from the disaster management authority. “We sent their request to the government and are awaiting further orders,” he said.

Other measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 cases include a night curfew from 11pm to 5am throughout Haryana, which is already in force in the state. Those eligible for vaccination but not fully vaccinated are banned from entering shopping malls, cinema halls, restaurants and grain markets, among other crowded places across the state from January 1.

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