Allow states to demarcate COVID-19 zones: Baghel urges PM

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Allow states to demarcate COVID-19 zones: Baghel urges PM
Raipur, May 15 () Chhattisgarh Chief MinisterBhupesh Baghel on Friday once again urged the Centre to allowthe states to decide on red, green, orange zones based on theseverity of the coronavirus situation in the districts undertheir jurisdiction during the fourth phase of the lockdown.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Baghelsaid it is necessary to restart business and commercialactivities with complete precaution in order to bring theeconomy back on track during the fourth phase of lockdown, anofficial statement issued here said.

However, he also cautioned that opening of inter-stateborders at this moment will not be appropriate, it added.

"The state should have rights for demarcation of itsdistricts into green, orange and red zones on the basis ofcoronavirus cases. The Centre should fix transparent criteriafor the purpose," Baghel said in the letter.

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In a letter written to the PM on Monday, Baghel hadmade a similar demand.

At present, the Centre decides on demarcation of areasas red, green, orange zones on the basis of coronavirus cases.

"Permission should be given to allow sale of essentialas well as non-essential items in all areas, exceptcontainment zones. All types of showrooms and workshopsrelated to vehicles should be allowed to operate," he said inthe letter.

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Though hotels can be permitted to provide only lodgingfacilities with the condition of maintaining socialdistancing, restaurants, bars, spa, etc in these premisesshould not be given any relaxations, he said.

Opening of inter-state borders at this moment will notbe appropriate and inter-state transport should be allowedonly for ferrying labourers and other people stranded due tolockdown, he said.

"Restrictions should remain on the non-essentialinterstate transport till June 15," he added.

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In addition to workers' special trains, new trainsshould be run only with the consent of the states concerned.Similarly, air services should be resumed only to ferry thestranded people, he asserted.

Construction work in urban areas should be allowedwith the condition of adhering to maintaining socialdistancing, he said.

He further suggested that independently workingtechnicians, electricians, mechanics etc should be permittedto operate their shops, he said.

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Urging the PM to consider his suggestions, Baghel saidthat empowering the states will definitely enhance theirability to fight the pandemic.

He said that Chhattisgarh is always ready to cooperatewith the Centre and other states in this battle, the statementsaid.

The nationwide lockdown, which was first enforced onMarch 24, has been extended twice, on April 14 and May 4. Thethird phase will end on May 17.

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In a televised address to the nation on Tuesday, PrimeMinister Narendra Modi said there will be a fourth phase ofthe lockdown, which will be very different from the earlierthree phases. TKPNP NP
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