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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. (PTI)
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. (PTI)

Tamil Nadu govt rolls back decision to allow 100% occupancy at movie theatres

The state's decision to return to 50% occupancy comes after objection was raised by Ministry of Home Affairs earlier this week

Keeping coronavirus in view, the Tamil Nadu government on Friday reversed its decision to allow full occupancy in movie theatres. However, the state administration allowed extra shows owing to the rush that is being anticipated during the Pongal festival.

The state's decision to return to 50% occupancy comes after objection was raised by Ministry of Home Affairs earlier this week.

on 6 January, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has written to Chief Secretary, saying that the state government's move is the dilution of MHA order. States and Union territory shall not dilute guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act in any manner, MHA has said.

"Please refer to MHA order whereby the Guidelines for Surveillance Containment and Caution issued vide order dated 25.11.2020 under Disaster Management Act (DM Act) 2005 were further extended to remain in force till 31 January 2021," MHA has said while giving reference of a paragraph which talks about guidelines for Multiplex/movie halls, etc.

"Government of Tamil Nadu with a notification has permitted to increase the seating capacity of cinemas/ theatres/ multiplexes from existing 50% capacity to 100% by following the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). This amounts to dilution of MHA Order dated December 28, 2020, issued under the DM Act 2005," MHA has said.

"I would also like to draw your kind attention to paras 21 & 23 of these guidelines which state that the State/UT Governments shall not dilute these guidelines issued under the DM Act 2005 in any manner and shall strictly enforce the same," Ajay Bhalla has said in his letter written on 5th January.

Tamil Nadu government on Monday allowed increasing the seating capacity of cinemas, theatres, multiplexes from existing 50% to 100% following Covid-19 protocols. The permission was granted through a notification by the state government. Many film stars like actor Vijay requested the state government to give permission for 100% capacity before Pongal.

The state government had granted permission to cinema theatres and multiplexes to reopen with 50% seating capacity from 10 November.



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