Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday said that people from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu will not be allowed in the state till May 31. This comes after the central government on Sunday extended the ongoing COVID-19 induced nationwide lockdown till May 31, but with a set of new relaxations commencing from Monday. The Union Home Ministry has also given powers to States/UTs demarcate areas in Green, Orange and Red zones, which will allow them to start activities except in containment zones.
Yediyurappa held a meeting with state ministers and senior government officers to discuss the guidelines issued by the Centre regarding the fourth phase of nationwide lockdown. He said that strict lockdown measures will be followed in containment zones and economic activities will be permitted in other areas.
"We have decided not to allow entry of people from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu till May 31," he said.
"State road transport corporation buses in Karnataka and private buses will run. Strict lockdown measures in containment zones and economic activities will be permitted in other areas. Sundays will be total lockdown across the state. Home quarantine will be strengthened," he added.
The Chief Minister further said that all shops will be allowed to open and all trains running within the state will be permitted.
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On Sunday, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and Transport Minister Laxman Savadi requested Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to issue new lockdown guidelines. Writing a letter to the Union Minister, Savadi also asked for permission to operate public transport, stating that the lockdown has caused a financial loss of Rs 1600 crore to all four Karnataka Transport Undertakings (KTU)-- Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC), North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC) and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC).
According to the state transport minister, the halt to the transport operations has caused a devastating impact on the operations of all the four STUs due to the combination of lack of revenue and continuing fixed costs such as salaries and pensions to staff, payables against existing loans, and so on. He added that even after post-COVID lockdown, operations, and revenues won't reach its previous demand and supply patterns in the next six to eight months due to reduced economic activity and users' perceived risk of contacting COVID in public transport.
(Image credits: PTI)
(with inputs from ANI)