COVID-19: Govt to start over 350 'kichidi' centres during coronavirus lockdown period in Jharkhand
Ranchi, Mar 23: The Jharkhand government on Monday announced starting more than 350 "khichidi" centres across the state to help the needy people during lockdown period till March 31 in view of corononavirus pandemic. The state govnernment is already running 377 "Dal-Bhat" (rice and pulse) centres since its inception after polls in November-December last year.
"More than 350 khichidi centres will start functioning so that the needy can have meals" a CMO release said quoting Chief Minister Hemant Soren here. Funds would be released to assist the labour force in the unorganized sector, he said, adding beneficiaries of the Public Distribution System would get grains for a whole month. He said a dedicated phone number, 181 and Corona War Room will function round-the-clock.
The chief minister had announced lockdown in Jharkhand from Monday till March 31 midnight after chairing a high level meeting with the officials on COVID-19 situation on Sunday. Meanwhile the shutdown order is yet to sink fully among the people as citizens were seen gathering at different grocery and other markets to buy esentials. Private vehicles were seen plying normally in the state capital Ranchi.
Chief Minister Hemant Soren arrived at the assembly with wearing a preventive mask. Government offices, educational institutions and important places of gathering remained closed. Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of police of different districts have launched awareness campaigns about the importance of lockdown, a preventive measure to stop spread of coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the world. Giridih Deputy Commissioner Rahul Kumar Sinha went to the famous Jain temple at Giridih districts Madhuban and appealed not to visit the religious place for one month in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. Dumka Sub-divisional officer went around the town, informing the people that section 144 of the CrPC is in force in the wake of coronavirus.
Dumka Deputy Commissioner Rajeshwar B. warned shop- owners against any indulgence in black-market. The police have also warned rumour mongers against spreading of fake news on social media platforms, the ight police sources said.
The next two-three weeks are crucial over coronavirus, so complete lockdown has been decided. A widespread awareness campaign will be launched, Soren said after Sunday night meeting. Appealing to the people not to give any attention to rumours, the chief minister said he would provide information to the people every evening Except for essential and emergency services, all the government officials and the employees will work from home, but they would not relinquish their headquarters, and if necessary, the heads of the departments can call them to office. Barring the vehicles pressed into hospital services, there is a ban on services of taxi, auto-rickshaw, buses and cycle-rickshaw.
Meanwhile, shops, business centres, factory, go- downs, weekly haat, all types of construction works remained closed, officials said. Essential services like banks/ATMs, dairy products and medicine shops will function normally, according to the official notification issued on Sunday said.
The decision of the lockdown has been taken under the Prevention of Epidemic Act, 1987, it said. The notification has also banned more than five persons gathering at one place. Asking the people to remain at homes, it said that people who venture out to procure essential materials should maintain social distance as per the guidelines.