HYDERABAD: As expected, the lockdown has been extended in Telangana till May 29. The State Cabinet, which met on Tuesday, took a decision to this effect. The night curfew would continue to be in force from 7 pm to 6 am as has been in practice.
However, some relaxations have been granted in villages, mandals and municipal towns in the State, in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs, issued on May 1. However, no relaxations have been granted in Hyderabad, Medchal-Malkajgiri, Rangareddy, Vikarabad, Warangal Urban and Suryapet districts, which are in the red zone.
After a seven-hour long Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said though the Central government extended the lockdown till May 17, the State Cabinet has decided to extend it till May 29. “We have to implement the lockdown strictly. The doctors and other officials too requested me to do so to save Hyderabad. Otherwise, the effective lockdown implemented till date will go waste,” Rao said.
He pointed out that of the 1,096 Covid-19 cases till Tuesday, 726 cases (66 per cent) were reported from Hyderabad, Medchal, Rangareddy and Vikarabad districts. Of the total 29 deaths, 25 deaths, i.e., 86 per cent, were reported from these four districts.
COVID-19 vaccine by Aug-Sept: CM K Chandrasekhar Rao
All the latest cases were reported from the GHMC area, the Chief Minister said and pointed out that no cases were reported from other red zones like Suryapet and Warangal Urban districts. Rao said if the 70-day cycle was completed, the virus would weaken and thus the decision to continue the lockdown.
He said that some pharma companies based at Genome Valley were working to manufacture a vaccine for the Coronavirus and the vaccine may be released in August or September.
Rao said that house construction activity would be allowed in the GHMC areas. Thus, cement, steel, hardware and related shops would be opened. However, other shops would remain closed. The Stamps and Registration Department would work with 100 per cent staff across the State, including in the red zones, he said. The buying and selling of lands and other properties would start from Wednesday. The other government and private offices would work as per the MHA order.
Attacking the Opposition Congress party for resorting to ‘cheap politics’, he said that some Congress leaders even blamed the government for the hailstorms. Some leaders spread the canards about Asara pensions and Rythu Bandhu. “We will not reduce the amount being given to the farmers under Rythu Bandhu as well as the Asara pension,” the Chief Minister said.
Despite the economic slowdown, the State Cabinet has decided to continue the Rythu Bandhu scheme. The crop loan waiver announced by the State government would be implemented for 5.5 lakh farmers having loan amounts below Rs 25,000. They would be given cheques this month. The State government would release around Rs 1,100 crore immediately.
SSC exams to be held this month
The Cabinet decided to conduct the SSC exams for the rest of the eight papers in May as the exams for three papers have already been held. To conduct the exams, the number of centres to be increased from 2,500 to 5,500, duly following the HC’s directive. The valuation of scripts of students, who took Intermediate examination, would be taken up from Wednesday
Liquor shops to open today across State
Liquor shops would be opened across the State from Wednesday between 10 am and 6 pm, except 15 shops in the containment zones. The State Cabinet, which met on Tuesday, took a decision to this effect. However, the rates would be increased by 16 per cent on popular brands, while the hike would be 11 per cent on cheaper brands.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said the State has wide borders with Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh, where liquor shops have been opened. If the State did not open the shops, liquor smuggling would start, he said
Shops open in orange, green zones
All the shops in villages and mandals across the State to be opened in orange and green zones. However, in municipalities, the shops to be opened on a rotation basis
KCR asks Centre to raise the FRBM cap
The Chief Minister, once again, made an appeal to the Centre to raise the ceiling of FRBM to help Telangana go in for more borrowings to tide over the current economic crisis triggered by COVID-19.