The state has allowed some sectors to reopen in non-Covid areas. Now, the government plans to allow liquor outlets, shopping malls and a host of commercial activities to operate in the coming week by restricting containment zones to a few specific streets instead of imposing a blanket ban on the ward. Stringent conditions of lockdown apply to the containment zones.
The government is awaiting guidelines from the Centre before rolling out the plan.
Curbs in 24 containment zones only
Since the beginning of this week, the state government has incrementally allowed functioning of IT and ITeS sector, select industries, 15 government departments, agriculture and allied activities, besides standalone shops in largely unaffected districts in green and orange zones.
After a cabinet meeting that discussed the post-May 3 roadmap, chief minister BS Yediyurappa told reporters: “As Covid-19 cases are likely to continue for 2-3 months, both economic activities and efforts to control the pandemic must go hand in hand. We’ve decided to give permission to start industrial and commercial activities in all places, except the containment zones, from May 4.”
In a red-zone district like Bengaluru Urban, restrictions will apply only to 24 containment zones spread across 34 wards and normal business activities have been proposed in the rest of the city. Malls and cinema halls in Bengaluru — closed 10 days before the country was locked down on March 24 — may resume operations if the Centre agrees to the proposal. “I’m confident the PM will permit all activities since it’s the expectation of all states,” he said.
Sources said the cabinet, while discussing options to restart the economy, strongly favoured opening of retail liquor outlets, including MRP shops and MSIL stores. Public transport like stateowned buses and Metro may not operate until May 15.