HYDERABAD: The Telangana government led by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao on Wednesday announced some key relaxations in the lockdown norms, which are likely to help normal life to return to their previous best to a large extent.
In some of the key relaxations, the state government has permitted all kinds of shops to re-open and resume their businesses including in Hyderabad. However, shopping malls have not been given this exemption and in effect they will remain shut until further notice.
In a press release late on Wednesday night, the state government also exempted the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) buses from the ongoing night curfew in the state. Effectively, the buses can ply even during the evenings until their stipulated time.
The ban on city bus services will however remain in place for some more time keeping in view the continued prevalence of the COVID-19 cases in the state capital, the release said.
Throughout Wednesday, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao held review meetings with ministers and officials on the COVID-19 situation and on implementation of lockdown, besides many other issues and took decisions on them, the release said.
Some of the decisions that KCR took during the meetings pertain to payment of the Aasara (social security) pensions without any change, extension of provision of 12 kg rice per person to the poor in June in view of the lockdown and continuation of deductions in salaries of public representatives, All India Service officers, government employees, outsourcing and contract workers for the month of May as well.
In yet another significant decision, the financial assistance of Rs 1,500 given to poor ration cardholders in the last two months would not be extended in the month of June, it said.
The measures have been taken keeping in view the drastic fall in states' income, the release said.
Telangana should get Rs 12,000 crore every month, but in May it received Rs 3,100 crore, including the states' share in Central taxes (Rs 982 crore), it said.
The chief minister instructed officials concerned to provide emergency care to COVID-19 patients whose health deterioates, the release said.
KCR had in the past announced the extension of lockdown in the state till May 31. During his last announcement, the chief minister said that shops and business establishements will be permitted to re-open in the state capital on an alternate odd- even basis.
As per the relaxations on Wednesday, all shops in Hyderabad, except malls, will be allowed to open from May 28.
State-run RTC buses have been exempted from night time curfew restrictions and will be allowed to ply to their destinations.
Taxis, autos and other passenger vehicles would be allowed at the bus stations, the release said.
Separately, Rao instructed the officials to hold low key state formation day celebrations on June 2 due to the lockdown.
“Except paying tribute to the martyrs and hoisting the national flag, no meetings or programmes should be held,” the release quoted him as having said.