The Jammu and Kashmir government on Tuesday constituted a Task Force to restore economic activity and employment in the Union Territory. The Task Force will be headed by Financial Commissioner, Principal Secretaries and Commissioner Secretaries of all the departments. Lt Governor Girish Chander Murmu said that a committee has already been constituted for the resumption of commercial and industrial activity in a controlled manner.
The Government of India (GoI) is also issuing guidelines by Wednesday, and steps would be taken to facilitate the trade and industry accordingly, he added.
During a meeting with traders and representatives of various associations, the Lt Governor was informed that due to the lockdown, around 50,000 labourers working in brick kiln units across Jammu were left stranded. Request was made to allow the operations of the brick kiln units as the stocks of bricks have also reportedly exhausted. Lt Governor, while interacting with the representatives of the associations, assured them that all the genuine demands and issues projected by them would be looked into on priority.
Traders and representatives of various associations also demanded that operations of the industrial units must be allowed and they assured that adequate precautionary guidelines like sanitization, social distancing and hygiene will be maintained as per the COVID-19 norms.
Opening of stationery shops and preparing a mechanism to provide school books and study materials to facilitate the students; besides preponement of summer vacations and allowing overdraft facility to private schools were also demanded.
They also put forth several demands pertaining to treatment of non-COVID patients; hiring of SRTC trucks for transportation of essentials from outside the UT by the traders; supply of ration to daily earners; entry of heavy vehicles during day time; installation of sanitization tunnels in high footfall areas like sabzi mandis, warehouses etc.
The school education department will soon start online career and mental health counselling sessions for students in order to reduce their mental stress and keep them engaged with studies during the lockdown period. Stressing on the need to keep children engaged with different activities and learning during the lockdown, Dr Samoon directed the Directorate School Education Kashmir (DSEK) to engage experts from the health department, UNICEF, NIMHANS and career counsellors for counselling and guidance of students. He asked them to engage with students and their parents by holding virtual interaction sessions on social networking sites.