New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday issued an order, extending lockdown for two more weeks from May 4 and also detailed about activities, which would be prohibited in the Red Zones during this period.
In the Red Zones, outside the containment zones, certain activities including plying of cycle rickshaws and auto-rickshaws, running of taxis and cab aggregators, intra-district and inter-district plying of buses, and, barber shops, spas and salons are prohibited in addition to those activities prohibited throughout the country.
However, certain other activities have been allowed in the Red Zones with restrictions. “Movement of individuals and vehicles is allowed only for permitted activities, with a maximum of two persons, besides the driver, in four-wheeler vehicles, and with no pillion rider in the case of two-wheelers. Industrial establishments in urban areas, viz., Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Export Oriented Units (EOUs), industrial estates and industrial townships with access control have been permitted,” said the Home Ministry in a press release.
“The other industrial activities permitted are manufacturing units of essential goods including drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, their raw material and intermediates; production units, which require continuous process, and their supply chain; manufacturing of IT hardware; jute industry with staggered shifts and social distancing; and, manufacturing units of packaging material,” said the ministry.
In the Red Zones, construction activities have been limited to in-situ construction (where workers are available on site and no workers are required to be brought in from outside) and the construction of renewable energy projects in urban areas.
“Shops in urban areas, for non-essential goods, are not allowed in malls, markets and market complexes. However, all standalone (single) shops, neighbourhood (colony) shops and shops in residential complexes are permitted to remain open in urban areas, without any distinction of essential and non-essential,” the Home Ministry said.
The MHA has also permitted e-commerce activities in the Red Zones, in respect of essential goods. Also, private offices can operate with up to 33 per cent strength as per the requirement, with the remaining persons working from home. All the government offices shall function with senior officers of the level of Deputy Secretary and above at full strength, and the remaining staff attending up to 33 per cent as per requirement.
“However, defence and security services, health and family welfare, police, prisons, Home Guards, Civil Defence, Fire and Emergency Services, disaster management and related services, National Informatics Centre (NIC), Customs, Food Corporation of India (FCI), National Cadet Corps (NCC), Nehru Yuvak Kendra (NYK) and municipal services shall function without any restrictions. Delivery of public services shall be ensured and necessary staff will be deployed for such purpose,” reads the MHA order.
A large number of other activities are also allowed in the Red Zones. All industrial and construction activities in rural areas including MNREGA works food-processing units and brick-kilns are permitted. Besides, in rural areas, without distinction to the nature of goods, all shops, except in shopping malls are permitted.
All agriculture activities, e.g., sowing, harvesting, procurement and marketing operations in the agricultural supply chain are permitted. Animal husbandry activities are fully permitted, including inland and marine fisheries. All plantation activities are allowed, including their processing and marketing. All health services (including AYUSH) are to remain functional, including transport of medical personnel and patients through air ambulances.
“A large part of the financial sector remains open, which includes banks, non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), insurance and capital market activities, and credit co-operative societies. Operation of homes for children, senior citizens, destitute, women and widows etc.; and operation of Anganwadis have also been permitted. Public utilities, e.g., utilities in power, water, sanitation, waste management, telecommunications and internet will remain open, and courier and postal services will be allowed to operate,” said the MHA in its release.
The MHA has also allowed commercial and private establishments to function in the Red Zones. These include print and electronic media, IT and IT-enabled services, data and call centres, cold storage and warehousing services, private security and facility management services, and services provided by self-employed persons, except for barbers etc., as mentioned earlier.
Manufacturing units of essential goods, including drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, their raw material and intermediates; production units, which require continuous process, and their supply chain; jute industry with staggered shifts and social distancing; and manufacturing of IT hardware and manufacturing units of packaging material will continue to be permitted.