From Monday, Ludhiana to have 17-hour curfew daily
7-hour relaxation from 5am to 12noon during which all shops, including those selling non-essential items and services, will be allowed to open
In view of the sharp rise in Covid-19 cases and deaths in the district, Ludhiana administration on Friday decided to impose a 17-hour daily curfew in the district, starting Monday.
The curfew will come into effect from 12noon and go on till 5am. A seven-hour relaxation will be allowed from 5am to 12noon during which all shops, including those selling non-essential items, and private offices and establishments, will be allowed to open.
The curfew will be observed on weekdays – Monday to Friday—while the weekend lockdown will also continue until further orders. The weekend curfew will start from 12noon on Friday and continue till 5am on Monday.
As per the fresh orders, there will be no movement of passenger vehicles within the city during curfew hours. Passenger movement by four-wheelers or motorised two-wheelers during curfew hours will be allowed only in exceptional circumstances, provided the vehicle occupants present an e-curfew pass. However, there will be no restriction on movement of passenger vehicles during curfew relaxation hours in morning.
It has also been ordered that takeaway and home-delivery services will be allowed during curfew relaxation time (5am to 12pm) only as the hotels will remain closed during curfew hours.
The DC has also directed that all government employees will be staying at the headquarters for posting and may be put on Covid duty. The department heads concerned shall ensure that any staff put on Covid duty is made to be present immediately with orders given to all staff to be on calls for any Covid duty.
To and fro inter-state movement or movement to other districts is allowed on national and state highways. Home delivery of milk is allowed on all seven days from morning 5am to 12 noon and in the evening from 5pm to 9pm. Milk vendors will not require curfew passes.
All manufacturing industrial units have also been exempted from the curfew.
Any violations shall invite criminal proceedings under the relevant provisions of the Disaster Management Act 2005 and the Indian Penal Code 1860.
High positivity rate prompted stringent steps: DC
Deputy commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma said the curfew was necessitated due to the steady rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the district. He said the decision was taken after reviewing the situation with civil surgeon, district epidemiologist and commissioner of police. “The positivity rate is currently above 10% and the bed occupancy in Ludhiana city hospitals is above 81%. Therefore, there is an urgent need to impose stringent restrictions to save precious human lives in district,” he said.
Industry had cried their heart out earlier in the day
Earlier in the day, several representatives of the Ludhiana industry participated in a virtual meeting with state food and supply minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu and senior officials of the Ludhiana administration and expressed their grievances over the ongoing partial lockdown in the state.
The traders and manufacturers said they are facing a plethora of problems due to shortage of labour and closure of main markets across the country. “Most of the units are in losses and working just to engage the labour,” said Pankaj Sharma, general secretary, CICU.
Ashu said that almost all Level-III and Level-II beds are occupied in the hospitals and health infrastructure is severely strained due to the continuous inflow of patients in Ludhiana. He said the administration is already at work to create more beds in other places for the best treatment of patients.
Deputy commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma and police commissioner Rakesh Agrawal said that it is high time for people to mitigate the stress of healthcare and other frontline workers by observing Covid-appropriate behaviour.
“Scores of medium and small scale units are suffering due to the shops being closed as we have a limited source of money. With shops closed, the payments are being delayed and it is difficult for us to pay our labour force,” said Charanjit Singh Vishwakarma, former president of the United Cycle Parts Manufacturers Association (UCPMA).
After the orders, the industry expressed satisfaction over the decision to allow all shops to open for business in morning hours. “Earlier, electricians and plumbers were also not allowed to work. Now at least emergency requirements can be catered to,” said Ankur Sharma, a businessman based in Sarabha Nagar.