Shillong, March 22, 2020 (MMP): Meghalaya today bore a deserted with vehicles kept off the roads, closure of markets, shops, business establishments and churches across the state due to Janata Curfew imposed by the Government of India. The curfew was an ardent appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to contain the spread of Corona-virus that has taken the lives of people across the globe.
Few believers went to their churches for personal prayers and short meditation. To take steps to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the state of Meghalaya and in order to achieve this objective, the Commissioner & Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, Transport Department stated that it is imperative to restrict the use of public transport by way of local taxis, auto-rickshaws in the districts of East Khasi Hills, West Jaintia Hills and West Garo Hills.
In an order issued today, the Commissioner & Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, Transport Department directed that only 25% of all local taxis (four-wheelers & three-wheelers) within the jurisdiction of East Khasi Hills, West Jaintia Hills, West Garo Hills Districts shall operate their vehicles on Monday 23rd March, and on Thursday 26th March.
The Commissioner & Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, Transport Department further directed that all local taxi, auto-rickshaw operators of all Districts will keep their taxis off-road (shall not operate) on Tuesday 24th March, Wednesday 25th March, Friday 27th March, Saturday 28th March and Sunday 29th March.
However, Special permission for medical emergencies may be obtained from respective District Transport Officers, added the Commissioner & Secretary. It is further reiterated that all local taxis, auto-rickshaw plying on the above dates are to ensure that there is proper social distancing and there shall be no close contact among the passengers. All District Transport Officers are directed to ensure strict compliance of this order, stated the Commissioner & Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, Transport Department. Government of Meghalaya has decided that the entry of people into the state will be restricted. The statement was issued by the Office Chief Secretary. It said that all people entering into Meghalaya are required to mandatorily register on the COVID-19 monitoring system http://meghalayaonline.gov.in/covid in addition to undergoing health screening as required by the authorities.
Proof of registration, either a system-generated acknowledgment or an SMS confirming registration should be checked at all entry points. In case of any technical challenges, registration can also be done on paper at the point of entry. All Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police are also asked to put in place a system so that the registration and checking at the entry points is done in an orderly manner.
In an order issued today, the Chief Secretary, Government of Meghalaya directed that no Government employees in the districts including officers, employees of line Departments and contractual staff shall leave their districts without the permission of their respective Deputy Commissioners. Further, every government employee will keep their mobile phones in ‘switched on’ mode and should be available for any emergency requirement at all times and non-compliance of these instructions will be viewed seriously by the Government, stated the Chief Secretary.
The Deputy Commissioner (Supply), East Khasi Hills District has informed that in order to maintain availability and normal prices of essential commodities in the markets to the public in the ongoing outbreak of COVID- 19, all wholesalers and traders dealing with the food grains and essential commodities are directed to acquire, keep buffer stock and maintain normal prices of essential commodities in the open market.
All the open market wholesalers and traders are directed to display stock and price board of essential commodities in their respective go-downs and shops regularly in order to maintain transparency. For any failure to comply with the above order and any unethical trade practices like hoarding, black marketing, etc, action will be taken under the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980.
Meanwhile Indian Railways has decided to suspend all passenger train operations from midnight today till midnight, 31st March. Railways Minister Piyush Goel announced the decision today to contain the COVID – 19 outbreak. A bare minimum level of suburban trains and Kolkata Metro rail services will continue till midnight. Trains that began their journey prior to 4 AM this morning will be allowed to continue their journey. Goods trains will continue to operate in order to ensure essential supplies across the country. The Railways Ministry has also offered full refunds to all passengers affected by train cancellations up to 31st March. MMP