Ahead of lockdown 4.0, the Bihar government has suggested extending the lockdown till May 31, keeping in mind the reverse migration in Bihar to the tune of 10-15 lakh people. Among other things, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's government has suggested that states should have powers to relax curfew and also to demarcate Red Zones.
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Sources say the Bihar government has made the following suggestions as demanded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the video conference meeting with Chief Ministers on May 11.
- Since there is a massive movement of migrant labourers, henceforth lockdown should continue till May 31. School, college, cinema, inter-state train and bus, civil aviation, cinema halls, gym, restaurant, coaching institutes, places of religious congregation, etc. should be closed.
- Only containment areas should be declared as Red Zones and the district administration should have powers to demarcate a particular area as Red Zone and not the entire district, so that activities should start in other green zones and orange zones of that district.
- State government should have the power to relax 7 pm-7 am curfew and also relax movement of inter and intra district movement of buses and vehicles so that economic activities could start in areas where there are fewer cases.
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Around 10-12 lakh migrants are expected to return back to Bihar and the government has decided to run approximately 400 Shramik special trains. So far, around 3 lakh migrants have returned back on such trains. The reason behind Nitish Kumar's recommendation to extend the lockdown till May end is that so far 400 migrants have tested positive for COVID-19.
The CM wants the lockdown to continue till the movement of migrants and people stranded across country does not stop. Now all eyes would be on the Union Home Ministry's directive due to be released before May 18, once the current phase of lockdown ends on May 17.
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