New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) Union Home Ministry has directed all the states to ensure compliance of the revised consolidated lockdown guidelines issued by it and also directed all concerned authorities for strict implementation of the restrictions “without any dilution”.
In a letter to the Chief Secretaries of all the states, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla instructed them to follow Centre’s lockdown guidelines in “letter and spirit”.
Bhalla issued the letter on Sunday following reports that some of the states and the Union Territories were issuing orders allowing activities which were not under exemptions in the consolidated guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs issued on April 15 under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
It was informed to the Home Ministry that the Kerala government issued a revised guideline on April 17 and circulated it to all departments, District Collectors, Superintendents of Police and other heads of department allowing activities which are prohibited by the Centre.
“I would again urge you to ensure compliance of the revised consolidated guidelines, and direct all concerned authorities for their strict implementation in letter and spirit without any dilution and to ensure strict compliance of lockdown measures,” the letter says.
Citing Supreme Court’s order dated March 31, 2020, Bhalla reminded the states about the the apex court’s observations, that “we trust and expect that all concerned viz. state governments, public authorities and citizens of this country will faithfully comply with the directive and orders issued by the Union of India in letter and spirit in the interest of public safety.
“The observations, must be treated as directions of the apex court, were conveyed in my DO letter dated April 1 to all state and UT governments.”
Bhalla also mentioned that these guidelines shall not be diluted by the states and UTs in any manner and shall strictly enforce and impose as per requirement of the local areas.
The Home Ministry issued a fresh consolidated guideline a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 14 announced extension of lockdown for another 19 days. The second phase of lockdown will end on May 3.
The guidelines were issued by the Home Ministry to fulfill the purpose of lockdown to contain the spread of novel coronavirus which so far killed 543 people in India.