Eastern states tweak Covid-19 curfew hours to suit local requirements
Among the north-eastern states that have changed their timings are Assam, Manipur and Nagaland. In Assam and Manipur, the curfew timings are from 6pm to 6am.Updated: May 06, 2020, 06:08 IST
A few states, especially those in the eastern parts of the country, are finding it unfeasible to apply the Centre’s latest directive to impose a curfew between 7pm and 7am daily. Many of them are, instead, opting to start functioning earlier in the morning for a very simple reason: the sun rises earlier in the east.
In eastern and north-eastern states, many people go to work earlier than their counterparts in the western parts of India. In the north eastern states, people also wind up their work early, once again underlining the wide range of working conditions and styles in a country that stretches from 68°7’ to 97°25’ east longitude.
The guideline issued by Union home ministry on May 1, announcing the second extension of the nationwide lockdown, had said, “The movement for individuals, for all non-essential activities, shall remain strictly prohibited between 7pm and 7am.”
But states such as Odisha, Assam, Manipur and Nagaland have opted for a timetable that suits their local requirements. In Kohima, the sunrise is at 4.33am (Wednesday) whereas the sunrise in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, in the west, is only at 6.04am.
Senior officials in Odisha said the chief secretary recently spoke to Rajeev Gauba, Modi government’s cabinet secretary, seeking a relaxation in curfew hours.
“In an eastern state like Odisha, the sun rises before 5.30am and farmers are in the fields by then. Curfew till 7am would hurt the movement of people in rural areas as well as semi-urban areas. So, the chief secretary had suggested easing the curfew hours by two hours,” an official privy to the talks of chief secretary and cabinet secretary said.
Among the north-eastern states that have changed their timings are Assam, Manipur and Nagaland. In Assam and Manipur, the curfew timings are from 6pm to 6am.
Assam chief secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna said the modifications in timings were necessary. “The MHA’s guidelines make way for state-specific modifications,” Krishna said.
In Manipur, deputy chief minister Y Joykumar said, “Manipur is a green zone, and can afford to have a few relaxations.” Manipur’s two positive cases are now cured, and no new case has been reported. The curfew extends a bit longer in Nagaland -- from 5pm to 6am. Nagaland’s lone Covid-19 patient has been sent to Assam and is now cured.
Officials in Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma’s office said Meghalaya has decided to go with the MHA’s recommended curfew timings of 7pm to 7am.
The curfew in Arunachal Pradesh is from 7pm to 5am, said an official in CM Pema Khandu’s office, as Itanagar has daybreak at around 4.30am. The state’s lone Covid case is now cured.