Relaxation hours increased up to 5 p.m., except in pockets where COVID-19 remains unchecked
The State government has extended the lockdown by 10 more days from Thursday but, at the same time, the relaxation was also increased by four hours up to 5 p.m. The present relaxations from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. will continue on Wednesday when the current spell of lockdown expires.
Like at present, when people are being allowed to return home by 2 p.m., the government has also allowed a grace period of one hour after 5 p.m. from Thursday to let them reach their destinations. Shops and business establishments will close by 5 p.m. The lockdown should be implemented strictly from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao ordered the police.
The Cabinet, however, decided that the present relaxation hours from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. will continue in pockets of State where the COVID-19 pandemic went unchecked. They included Assembly constituencies of Sattupalli, Madhira, Nalgonda, Nagarjunasagar, Devarakonda, Munugode and Miryalguda. The decision not to give further relaxation hours was based on recommendations of health teams that visited these areas.
Food processing zones
Barring Hyderabad, the erstwhile nine districts of the State were sanctioned special food processing zones. Each of them were approved nothing short of 250 acres for immediately setting up rice mills and other food processing units.
A release said the Cabinet asked authorities to clear pending 4.46 lakh applications for distribution of ration cards in the State within 15 days. A Cabinet sub-committee headed by Civil Supplies Minister Gangula Kamalakar was constituted to suggest measures to overcome problems in the public distribution system and resolve demand for higher commissions by fair price shop dealers. The other members of the committee included T. Harish Rao, T. Srinivas Yadav, Sabita Indra Reddy and A. Indrakaran Reddy.
During a full-fledged discussion on preparedness of Agriculture department for the ensuing crop season, the Cabinet expressed its happiness over the bumper yield of three crore tonnes of food grains cultivated on 1.06 crore acres. The meeting asked the Agriculture Extension Officers to be available at farmers’ platforms in 2,601 agricultural clusters for carrying out their extension work.
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