Union Ministry of Home Affairs spokesperson Punya Salila Srivastava on Monday said that the ministry has written to all states and Union Territories that they can strengthen the measures according to the need of their local areas, but cannot dilute the instructions of the Union government. This comes after Kerala revised guidelines on relaxation of Coronavirus lockdown after MHA's letter.
Speaking about the ministry's concerns over the modified lockdown guidelines issued by Kerala government, she said at a press briefing that MHA has written to Kerala government yesterday, "expressing concerns over modified guidelines regarding lockdown issued by the latter. Kerala has allowed some activities that violate the ministry's instructions issued under the Disaster Management Act."
Srivastava said that the Home Ministry has been monitoring the enforcement of lockdown measures. Wherever there is a violation, the ministry is taking appropriate action after contacting the concerned state government.
"The ministry has written to all States and Union Territories and said that they can strengthen the measures according to the need of their local areas, but cannot dilute the instructions of the Union government," she said.
Informing further, Srivastava said that the Union Home Ministry has constituted six inter-ministerial central teams for the highly affected districts of four states including, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
After the Centre wrote to the Kerala government asking the state to not dilute the lockdown, a revised government order issued on Monday morning has withdrawn some of the relaxation measures earlier announced for districts where Coronavirus positive cases are not active.
The government of Kerala has now withdrawn permission for restaurants to be opened from 7 am to 7 pm even for dine-in and is allowing only takeaway services. Permission for barbershops to be opened and vehicles to ply as per odd-even scheme too have been withdrawn.
This after the Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) had written to the Chief Secretary of Kerala stating, ‘In the said Order, the GoK has allowed the opening of activities which are prohibited in the Order dated 15.04.2020 of MHA. Such additional activities allowed by GoK, inter alia, includes the opening of local workshops; barbershops; restaurants; book stores; MSMEs in municipal limits; bus travel in the cities/ towns for a shorter distance, two passengers in the back seat of four-wheeler; pillion riding on scooters. This amounts to dilution of guidelines issued by MHA and violation of MHA Order dated 15th April 2020 issued under the Disaster Management Act 2005’.