Coronavirus update: Rajasthan bans private vehicles; to give pension, food to poor
The Rajasthan government has banned all private vehicles in the state from Tuesday and announced a clutch of measures to help poor during the lockdown until March 31 as the number of Covid-19 cases in the state went up to 32 on Monday.
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot announced the decision to ban private vehicles on Twitter.
“To save lives from #coronavirus infection, we have taken the decision to ban all private vehicles on roads from tomorrow. Only vehicles related to essential services and those in exempted services would be allowed. State highway tolls will also be closed from 12 o’clock midnight,” Gehlot tweeted on Monday evening.
Later, his office sent a release to announce the ban.
Vehicles engaged in essential services or in the exempted categories have been kept out of this ban, the release added.
Public transport was banned on March 22 as the state went into a complete lockdown.
Earlier, Ashok Gehlot warned people he will clamp curfew if they didn’t stay in their homes during the lockdown.
“I am cautioning you in order to protect your lives, please consider this lockdown seriously as a self-imposed curfew.Behave as you do in a curfew & stay in your homes strictly. Either ppl understand the seriousness, remain in their homes or else we will hv to impose curfew in state (sic),” he said on Twitter.
The chief minister also took a host of decisions to provide relief to the poor during a meeting at his residence on Monday evening. The release from the chief minister’s office said 7.8 million people, who get social security benefits, will get a pension for two months in advance.
“During the lockdown, no one will sleep hungry in Rajasthan,” the CM said.
Apart from this, 3.65 million Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, state BPL and Antodaya beneficiaries and 2.5 million construction workers and registered street vendors, who are not covered under the pension scheme, will get Rs 1000 as one-time relief.
Gehlot said these measures will provide relief to at least 14.1 million families in Rajasthan. The government will take the help of revenue officials in these efforts, he added.
The state government had earlier announced free ration for two months for families covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), who get wheat for Re 1 and Rs 2 a kilo.
The government will provide ration packets to people not covered under the NFSA. These packets will be distributed through government buildings in rural and urban areas and will contain wheat flour, pulses, rice, cooking oil and other essential commodities.
Four new cases were reported from the state—two each from Pratapgarh and Jodhpur.