KCR extends lockdown in Telangana till 29 May; liquor shops to open today2 min read . Updated: 06 May 2020, 12:52 AM IST
Those who purchase alcohol will have to wear masks compulsorily, and will also have to shell out 16% more money on liquor, said CM KCR
Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday announced that the lockdown in the state will be extended till 29 May. However, retail liquor outlets, except for 15 in red zones, will be allowed to run Wednesday. KCR also said that the state government will help migrant workers return home, but also requested them to stay put, promising them of getting work. On the same day, 11 more coronavirus cases were reported, taking the state’s tally to 1,096.
“The lockdown will be there till 29 May. I know everyone will be angry, but I have no other way. In Delhi and Bangalore people came out in large numbers. We will review the situation by looking at Mumbai, Tamil Nadu and other places and then decide what to do," stated KCR while addressing a press conference. He added that, depending on the situation, the government might allow some shops to open after 15 May.
KCR also said that representatives of biotech companies also conveyed to him that they are working on a vaccine for Covid-19 and that they hope to come up with a vaccine for the virus by August or September. “If this works, it will be a major development from Telangana," said KCR.
Irrespective of the Centre’s guidelines, Hyderabad, Rangareddy, Medak, Warangal (Urban) and Suryapet districts, which have been most affected due to Covid-19, will not see any kind of relaxation, with few exceptions which will be given to the construction and building industry. KCR said that Telangana has six districts which are in the red zone, nine districts in the green zone and 18 districts in the orange zone.
While Hyderabad has 19 containment clusters, the city along with the surrounding districts of Medchal and Rangareddy are places where 66% of Covid-19 cases have been detected in the state, and where 25 out of the total 29 deaths have taken place. KCR also said that all shops will be allowed to function in rural areas and 50% in municipality towns (establishments will open based on a lottery system), and that curfew hours from 7 pm to 6 am will stay as it is across the state.
While bars and pubs/clubs will remain closed, those who purchase alcohol will have to wear masks compulsorily, and will also have to shell out 16% more money on liquor. In the capital of Hyderabad, the situation more or less remains the same, however, with the exception of cement, hardware and electric shops which will be permitted to function, said KCR. 15 liquor stores, located in containment zones, will not be operating.
He also lashed out against the Centre for not footing the train fares of migrant workers. Calling it “deplorable", KCR said that Telangana has paid Indian Railways an advance to ferry migrant labourers back to their home states. While stating that the state government will help migrants in returning home, the chief minister also explained that sending back thousands of people at one go is not feasible, as other states have to arrange for internal transportation once the migrants reach their native states.
“Today we sent people to states like Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand in 11 trains. One positive thing is that all brothers from Bihar who work in rice mills here and 22,000 people from there want to come here for work. The train in which we sent people (to Bihar) from Telangana will also bring back people back here (to work in the rice mills)," KCR said.
With the lockdown extended till 29 May, Ramzan this time in Hyderabad will be a dreary affair.