MHA writes to Kerala Govt over ‘dilution’ of lockdown guidelines

by Aditi

MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) has given notice to the Kerala Government for the violation of lockdown measures as it violated the lockdown measures by opening the public buses and barbershops.

Union Home Secretary wrote a letter to Kerala Chief Secretary, Tom Jose told that the Kerala government had circulated some revised guidelines on April 17 and allowed activities that were prohibited under the lockdown measures. The letter said that the government should rectify the rules and ensure strict compliance with the measures.

 According to the letter, the extra activities allowed by the Kerala government are local workshops, barbershops, restaurants, book stores, MSMEs in municipal limits, bus travel within the cities and towns for brief distances, two passengers within the back seat of cars, pillions on scooters, which amounts to a violation of the MHA order.

Mr. Bhalla wrote another letter to all or any States and Union Territories asking them to strictly adjust to MHA guidelines and ensure its implementation with none dilution.

On April 15, the MHA had revised its earlier guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, to permit the States to make your mind up the extra public activities to be allowed from April 20 in non-hotspot zones. It said the extra facilities would be supported strict compliance with the present guidelines on lockdown measures. The primary set of such guidelines was issued on March 24 under the DM Act, 2005 invoked for the primary time within the country in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The countrywide lockdown, imposed on Annunciation Day and which ended on day, has been extended till May 3.

The Centre’s criticism reportedly prompted Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to have a meeting with  Mr. Jose and State officer Loknath Behera and other senior officers at the govt Secretariat here on Monday. Officials indicated the govt was likely to revise the regulations further, particularly within the wake of an uncontrolled turn of individuals and vehicles in green and orange zone districts in Kerala on Monday. Mr. Vijayan is predicted to create a press release at his customary COVID-19 news briefing within the evening.

The state had permitted workshops, salons, restaurants and book stores to open in two districts classified as Green and Orange (B) zones from April 20. They’re Kottayam and Idukki. It also had relaxed curfew norms in Alappuzha, Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad, Wayanad, and Thrissur that fell within the Orange (B) zone category.