Complete clampdown across J&K till March 31: Govt

The government on Sunday extended the shutdown of all establishments in Jammu and Kashmir except essential services till March 31 to block the spread of Covid-19.

After reviewing the situation today, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam directed all the District Magistrates in the Union Territory to ensure the shutdown of all establishments except those providing essential commodities and services in their districts from March 22 till March 31.

“The Deputy Commissioners will issue orders under Section 144 CrPC and also under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 to shutdown all the establishments except essential commodities in their respective districts keeping in view the importance of enforcing social distancing i.e. minimizing close contact between people,” the order said.

The department of Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Affairs has already issued a list of essential commodities and all the goods vehicles including those carrying essential items will be allowed to ply with proper permits or passes issued by the concerned District Administration.

In this regard, the District Administrations will make the necessary arrangements for persons engaged in providing essential services to travel without hindrance to their place of work.

“The Deputy Commissioners will also restrict all the assemblies at public places to no more than three persons,” the Chief Secretary ordered.

The Deputy Commissioners were directed to ensure strict implementation of these instructions with immediate effect, and Divisional Commissioners of both Jammu as well as of Kashmir will monitor compliance of the directions.

Earlier, the Government ordered closing all the Government offices till March 25. “Government declares holiday in all the offices on Tuesday (March 24), Monday (March 23) and Wednesday (March 25) already holidays,” Government spokesperson Rohit Kansal wrote on twitter.

This order was issued after the Government employees working in different field offices across Jammu and Kashmir were under distress following the outbreak of the coronavirus.

“We work in a field without any safety measure, and people in large numbers continue to come to our offices and meet us. We do not know the travel history of those people,” said a senior officer, wishing not to be quoted.

The officer said that the Heads of the Departments have restricted entries in their respective departments, while lower-level employees and even field officers were vulnerable.

“The decision of the Government has come as a relief for the employees, officers and their families,” added the officer.