The Karnataka government on Tuesday announced further relaxations in the lockdown norms in 14 districts, which are in the green zone with no coronavirus cases so far. It further allowed industrial operations and functioning of shops with certain regulations, including social distancing.
According to an order issued by Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar, the 14 districts where the latest relaxations will be applicable are Chamarajanagar, Koppal, Chikmagalur, Raichur, Chitradurga, Ramanagara, Hassan, Shivamogga, Haveri, Yadgir, Kolar, Davanagere, Udupi and Kodagu.
Industries were permitted to operate in rural areas outside the limits of the municipal corporations and municipalities in these districts, barring Ramanagara. Manufacturing and other industrial establishments with access control in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Export Oriented Units (EoUs), industrial estates, and industrial townships have been allowed to run in the 14 districts. These permissions come with a rider that these establishments will have to make arrangements for the stay of workers within their premises as far as possible in the adjacent buildings. They should also have to implement the standard operating protocol as mentioned in the Karnataka Revised Consolidated Guidelines, the order said.
As per reports, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has indicated that the lockdown might be extended in COVID-19 red zones, while exemption would be given for green districts to resume economic activities. The state has 10 districts in the red zone, 10 in the orange or yellow zone, and the rest (10 districts) in the green zone.
The meeting came hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video conferencing with Chief Ministers to discuss the situation arising due to COVID-19 in the country, which is under lockdown since March 25 to contain the pandemic. Only nine chief ministers spoke in the virtual meeting with the Prime Minister and Yediyurappa did not get an opportunity to speak.