Bengaluru, April 22 (IANS) Karnataka relaxed extended lockdown partially from Thursday, excluding Covid-19 hotspots and their containment areas, across the southern state, a top official said on Wednesday.

“In accordance with the Central government’s April 14 guidelines and to mitigate hardship to the public, select activities will be allowed from April 23 across the state,” said state Chief Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar in a notification here.

Among the activities allowed are hotels for only parcel service, agriculture producers’ marketing committee (APMC) yards, online delivery of essential goods, essential services like courier, production of cement, steel, tiles and bricks and roadside eateries (dhabas).

Construction and road repairs are allowed to be undertaken.

Electricians, plumbers, carpenters and mechanics are also permitted to work from Thursday.

“Though IT-BT (biotech) remain shut till the lockdownA up to May 3 and their employees will work from home, staff for essential services will be allowed to work from their office,” said the notification.

Schools and colleges, however, will remain closed till May 3.

Trucks will be allowed to operate to carry essential goods, including agriculture and horticulture produce across the state.

“While public transport bus service will remain shut till May 3, private vehicles will be allowed for emergency services and personnel commuting with police pass from home to office and back,” said Bhasakar in the order.

The partial relaxation will also enable industrial units, micro, small and medium enterprises to resume functioning.

“Transport has to be provided to the staff in the absence of state-run buses, metro and suburban trains by their companies,” asserted the top bureaucrat.

Manufacturing of essential goods like drugs, pharma products, medical devices and raw materials and intermediaries, food processing industries in rural areas and packaging materials will be allowed legally.

“The state government, which is facing a financial crunch, is under pressure to kick-start economic activities that were suspended because of the coronavirus-driven lockdown,” admitted Bhaskar.

Intra-state and inter-state buses, passenger trains and passenger flights will remain shut till the lockdown.

Hospitality services, bars, malls, theatres and shopping complexes will continue to remain shut.




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