States can’t di­lute guide­lines: MHA

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - HTSPOTLIGH­T - HT Cor­re­spon­dent letters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: As the fourth phase of the na­tion­wide lock­down be­gan on Mon­day, the min­istry of home af­fairs re­minded the states and Union ter­ri­to­ries that they can­not di­lute the fed­eral guide­lines but are free to make them stricter based on lo­cal as­sess­ment and health min­istry guide­lines.

Sev­eral states have al­ready al­lowed cer­tain ac­tiv­i­ties on Mon­day af­ter the Cen­tre came up with new guide­lines al­low­ing pub­lic trans­port, in­ter state travel and open­ing of shops, of­fices and in­dus­tries.

Union home sec­re­tary Ajay Bhalla has re­it­er­ated in his letter to states that the guide­lines of fourth phase of the lock­down were is­sued af­ter tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the views of the states, fol­low­ing a video con­fer­ence held by PM Naren­dra Modi with chief min­is­ters on May 11.

“As em­pha­sised in my ear­lier letters, I would like to re­it­er­ate again that States and Union Ter­ri­to­ries can­not di­lute re­stric­tions im­posed vide the afore­said guide­lines is­sued by MHA. States and UTs, based on their as­sess­ment of the sit­u­a­tion, may pro­hibit cer­tain other ac­tiv­i­ties in var­i­ous zones, or im­pose such re­stric­tions as deemed nec­es­sary. I would urge you to en­sure com­pli­ance of the new guide­lines and di­rect all con­cerned au­thor­i­ties for their strict im­ple­men­ta­tion,” Bhalla said in his letter.

Of­fi­cials fa­mil­iar with de­vel­op­ments said that if any state al­lows run­ning of schools, col­leges, or gyms, swim­ming pools, move­ment of peo­ple dur­ing the night (7 pm to 7am), which have been pro­hib­ited, this would be treated as “di­lu­tion”.

The states are free to cat­e­gorise ar­eas into “red”, “or­ange” and “green” zones. Inside the “red” and “or­ange” zones, con­tain­ment and buf­fer zones will be iden­ti­fied by the district ad­min­is­tra­tion and lo­cal ur­ban bod­ies. Within the con­tain­ment zones, strict perime­ter con­trol shall be main­tained and no move­ment of per­sons will be al­lowed, ex­cept for med­i­cal emer­gen­cies and main­tain­ing the sup­ply of es­sen­tials, the letter said.

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