Assam today clarified that there is no dilution of lockdown and tea industries are relaxed only for maintenance.
The Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowaryvisited Barpeta District and reviewed the status of medical preparedness for handling COVID-19 pandemic and also reviewed the status of stock of medical supplies and essential commodities in the district.
The Minister stated that the Government of India recently has issued guidelines on the operation of food processing industries in the states and ordered that individual industry can apply for permission from the concerned authorities during the lockdown period. As per the guidelines from the Central Government, now the individual industry can apply for such permission from the concerned authorities.
The Minister also added that decision was taken by the Cabinet on March 30, on easing curbs imposed due to the national lockdown with regards to reopening of rice and flour mills, biscuit and other food production units.
It was decided that limited activities like spraying of pesticides and irrigation of tea plants in Tea Gardens may be allowed as well as farming activities in rural areas.
In this regard, there was some miscommunication in social media that the Assam Government was diluting the lockdown norms. But the Minister clarified that the lockdown has not been withdrawn, the basic idea was to allow limited activities as per discretion of respective Deputy Commissioners only after receipt of specific applications from industries in order to keep the food chain in minimal production levels and also in order to avert a possible food shortage crisis.
All the activities shall depend on the application of the industry owners who apply to the respective Deputy Commissioners and after due scrutiny of the applications and in consultation with Health Department, the industries maybe be allowed to function with limited manpower.
All the easing in curbs shall be with due permission of district authorities and as per accordance of Health Department norms of maintaining social distance to prevent community spreading of the Covid19 infection possibility.