Essential services will not be affected, says Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami
Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Monday announced a 12-day complete lockdown in Chennai and certain parts of Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts between June 19 and 30. However, the government allowed essential services to function.
Mr. Palaniswami’s announcement followed recommendations by public health and medical experts and a discussion in the Cabinet meeting held this afternoon. He said that on June 21 and 28 (Sundays) no relaxations would be offered. Only milk supply and access to medical facilities will be available on those two days.
“Provision and grocery stores and petrol bunks would be allowed to function between 6 am and 2 pm by maintaining physical distancing norms,” he said and added that mobile units selling vegetables and fruits would continue to operate during this window.
“The general public are advised to buy essential supplies without using vehicles and from stores that are located within 2 km from their residences,” Mr. Palaniswami said.
“Banks with 33% staff would be allowed to operate on June 29 and 30 alone. ATMs and related banking services and transport would function as usual,” the CM said. Public Distribution Shops would function between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Though autorickshaw, taxi and private vehicles would not be allowed during the complete downdown, “rental, autorickshaws, taxis and private vehicles for essential medical requirements would be allowed,” he said.
Restaurants and eateries could operate only for takeaway services and tea shops cannot operate with restrictions in timing. Food delivery services are allowed to operate and those employees involved should get necessary ID card from their employers.
“Amma Canteens would continue to function and so are community kitchens run by local bodies for destitutes,” he said. NGOs and other such organisations helping the general public could operate with necessary permission from authorities.
Media houses and courts too could function.”Construction activities are allowed if workers are available on site,” he said. There would not be any ban on the movement of cargo and movement of essential supplies.
“Only those who produce necessary documents for leaving Chennai for other districts for weddings, medical treatment, funerals would be granted necessary e-passes,” Mr. Palaniswami said.
The existing arrangement would continue for trains and flights arriving from other States and the same would be applicable for ships and flights from other countries, he pointed out.
Central government offices and some departments of the State government would function with only 33% staff, while those living in containment zones need not report for work and needed to take prior permission from authorities in this regard.
With inputs from The Hindu