The Karnataka government has announced partial relaxation of COVID-19 lockdown norms in the state allowing certain construction activities, manufacturing of packaging materials, courier services, among others, from April 23.
The activities will be permitted only outside the COVID-19 containment zones identified by the government.
Service provided by self-employed people like electricians, IT repair, plumbers, motor mechanics, and carpenters in local areas have also been given exemption.
Tea, coffee, and rubber plantation have been allowed to work with 50 percent workforce, and a similar exemption has been given to processing, packaging, sale and marketing of these produce.
"To mitigate hardship to the public, select additional activities have been allowed, which will come into effect from 00.00 hours of April 23," Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar said in an order on Wednesday.
However, these additional activities will be operationalised by district administrations and BBMP (city corporation in the case of Bengaluru city) based on strict compliance to the guidelines on lockdown measures, it said.
Before implementing these relaxations, district administrations and BBMP (city corporation) shall ensure that all the preparatory arrangements for social distancing in offices, workplace establishments as also sectoral requirements are in place, it said, adding that relaxations will not apply in containment zones.
Facing a financial crunch, the state government has been eager to kickstart economic activities in the state that had come to a halt due to the coronavirus lockdown.
While hospitality services, bars, malls, theatres, shopping complexes, and places of worship, among others will continue to remain shut, relaxation of norms will be for activities that are linked to essential services such as health, infrastructure, and agriculture.
As per the order, while public transportation will continue to remain suspended till May 3, private vehicles with passes for emergency services and personnel commuting with passes to places of work and back will be allowed.
Activities permitted include construction of roads, irrigation projects, buildings and all kinds of industrial projects, including MSMEs in rural areas, and all kinds of projects in industrial estates, where workers are available on site and no one is required to be brought from outside.
Also permitted to function are manufacturing units of essential goods like drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, their raw materials, food processing industries in rural areas, coal production (mines and mineral production and activities incidental to mining) besides manufacturing units of packaging materials.
(Edited by Javed Gaihlot)
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