While stating that the West Bengal government will abide by the Centre’s decision on extending the lockdown after April 14, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that restrictions could be eased for the transport sector and other industries provided they meet the standard health precautions.
After meeting representatives of different industries and chambers of commerce at the state secretariat here, the Chief Minister told mediapersons that the government is thinking of allowing partial operation of the transport sector. “In an emergency situation, some taxis may be allowed to ply with only three persons other than the driver could travel… Those industries, where workers are staying within their campus or industry owners who can afford to make arrangement of their workers to stay there, they can continue their production with 10 per cent work force on a rotation basis,” the CM said.
“We have already allowed home delivery of food and other goods…. Some kind of transportation is needed (for the movement of various goods) but not in a mass manner,” she added.
The government had earlier made other relaxations like allowing flower market to operate and sweet shops to open.
Extending the validity of licences and registrations of vehicles that were due on March 31 to June 30, the CM said, “Nobody wants lockdown. I also don’t want lockdown. But, we are helpless.. We have no other way. So, we should adjust accordingly.”
Urging industrialists to help in the sanitisation and disinfection operations, the CM asked them to produce hand sanitisers and soaps on a mass scale. “Those who are middle, small and micro enterprises, they can produce masks or hand sanitisers in this time span,” she said.
Earlier in the day, she said that her government is taking care of two lakh migrant labours from 16 states stranded in West Bengal. “Over 2 Lakh migrant labourers & stranded people from 16 Indian states are being housed in 711 camps across West Bengal. They are being directly taken care of by West Bengal government April 1 will continue until the need remains,” she tweeted.
She also said that her government has started a mobile phone app called ‘Sandhan’ for health-care workers. The app will track the health worker’s location and find out areas affected by coronavirus and take precautionary measures, she said.
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