Centre forms 6 committees to ensure lockdown is implemented

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-asks-states-uts-to-strictly-comply-with-covid-19-lockdown-guidelines/article31386405.ece

The Centre has constituted six committees, each led by Additional Secretary rank officials, to visit Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and West Bengal to ensure the implementation of lockdown. The civil aviation ministry will arrange the air transportation of these committee members.

In a series of tweets, MHA spokesperson said that violation of lockdown measures poses a serious health hazard and risk to the public adding that the COVID-19 situation was serious in Indore, Jaipur, Mumbai, Pune and many parts of West Bengal.

The spokesperson mentioned incidents of violence on frontline healthcare professionals, complete violations of social distancing norms and movement of vehicles in urban areas.

“Situation especially serious in Indore (MP); Mumbai & Pune (Maharashtra); Jaipur (Rajasthan); and Kolkata, Howrah, Medinipur East, 24 Parganas North, Darjeeling, Kalimpong & Jalpaiguri (West Bengal),” the tweet said.

It added that Centre has constituted six Inter-Ministerial Central Teams (IMCT) to make on-the-spot assessment of situation, issue necessary directions to State authorities for its redressal and submit their report to the Central government in the larger interest of general public.

“IMCTs to focus on compliance & implementation of #lockdown measures as per guidelines; supply of essential commodities; #SocialDistancing; preparedness of the health infrastructure, safety of health professionals & conditions of the relief camps for labour & poor people,” tweet said.

Home Secretary asks for strict compliance of guidelines

The Centre has asked States and Union Territories to strictly comply with the lockdown measures announced to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic and not to dilute them at any level.

In a communication to Chief Secretaries of State governments and Union Territory administrations, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said some States and UTs are issuing orders allowing activities which have not been allowed as per the guidelines issued by the Home Ministry under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

They can, however, impose stricter measures than the guidelines as per the requirement of local areas.

“I would again urge you to ensure compliance of the revised, consolidated guidelines, and direct all authorities concerned for their strict implementation in letter and spirit without any dilution and to ensure strict compliance of lockdown measures,” he said.

Mr. Bhalla also pointed to a recent Supreme Court observation that all State governments, public authorities and citizens will faithfully comply with the directives and orders issued by the Union of India in letter and spirit in the interest of public safety.

The observations, which must be treated as the directions of the apex court, was conveyed in “my letter dated April 1 to all States and UTs (union territories)”, he said.

The consolidated revised guidelines on the measures to be taken by central Ministries and Departments, and State and Union Territory governments were issued on April 15 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the extension of the nationwide lockdown till May 3.

The lockdown was earlier from March 25 to April 14.

(With inputs from PTI)

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