Amid rising Covid-19 cases, state governments rely on ‘curfew raj’

In the wake of the second wave of the Covid-19 epidemic, several states have resorted to night curfews, partial lockdown or complete lockdown. Around the same time last year, the infection level was nowhere near what it is today in most places, though the reported cases of infection went up steadily despite the lockdown. The harshest measure proved insufficient to quell the spread of the pandemic, but it had a massive impact on the economy. Last year’s experience, however, failed to provide any valuable lesson for different state administrations. Here is a look at restrictions imposed in different states:

Maharashtra: With the highest number of cases, the state has clamped night curfew from April 5. All establishments including restaurants, grocery shops, vegetable markets shut at 8pm. “We need to be taken into confidence before enforcing any such steps, the government needs to give us at least some concessions like reducing if not waiving property tax,” Shivanand Shetty, president, Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association told ET. “This move is going to leave many jobless and killing our businesses.”

Gujarat: After strong observations from the high court, the state administration extended night curfew to Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Junagarh, Gandhinagar, Anand, Nadiad, Mehsana, Morbi, Patan, Godhra, Dahod, Bhuj, Gandhidham, Bharuch, Surendranagar and Amreli, apart from Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot. The ‘corona curfew’ begins at 8 pm and extends till 6 am, till April 30.

Delhi: Although he has no power over the police, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal was among the first to decalre night curfew. On Friday, Kejriwal also announced that all educational institutions shall remain closed in Delhi till further notice.

Punjab: The state government has enforced a night curfew on Wednesday, which will last till the month end, from 9 pm to 5 am. All educational institutes shall remain closed till the end of the month.

Uttar Pradesh: The state has imposed night curfew in several districts for varying periods. In Lucknow, the curfew will be from 9 pm to 6 am, in the municipal area, till April 16. In Ghaziabad and Noida, the night curfew timings are from 10 pm to 5 am till April 17. In Kanpur and Moradabad, it will be from 10 pm to 6 am. In Kanpur, it will be till April 30, while in Moradabad till April 16. In Bareilly, Saharanpur and Varanasi, night curfew will be imposed from 9 pm to 6 am. Prayagraj will see a night curfew from 10 pm to 8 am. In Lucknow, Prayagraj, Kanpur and Varanasi, government and private offices shall operate at 50% capacity.

Karnataka: The Yediyurappa government has imposed night curfew in Bengaluru and seven other cities,. The 10 pm to 5 am curfew will start on April 10 and will be in force till April 20. The state has also put in restrictions on pubs, bars, restaurants and public transportation to operate at full capacity. Section 144 has been clamped in Bengaluru, prohibiting gatherings.

Chhattisgarh: Raipur, Rajnandgaon, Balod, Bemetara and Durg districts will be locked down completely from Friday night. In Jaspur, complete lockdown will come under force from Sunday till April 18. A night curfew has been imposed in Raigarh and Bilaspur.

Madhya Pradesh: The state has announced a three-day lock down in all districts barring Damoh from Friday evening till Monday morning. An assembly byelection in Damoh is why the district has been spared. Voting will take place here on April 16. State government officials told ET that because of the election code of conduct, a decision on lockdown in Damoh has to be taken by the Election Commission. Ratlam, Baitul, Chhindwara, Katni and Khargone will have complete lockdown for nine days. In Chhindwara lockdown is already in force from Thursday. Nine days lock down has also been announced in some areas of Bhopal.

Jharkhand: All indoor and outdoor congregations are prohibited in the state barring marriage functions with attendance of 200 people and last rites function with 50. Shops, restaurants, malls and other commercial ventures shall not remain open after 8 pm. The restrictions will remain till the end of the month.

Bihar: Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Friday announced several restrictions. All educational institutions shall remain closed till April 18. All commercial ventures shall close at 7 pm till April 30. Restaurants can operate only at 25% capacity. All government offices shall operate with onethird staffers. The government will take a call on night curfew only after monitoring the situation for a few more days, Kumar said.

Odisha: The state government imposed night curfew on April 5 in Sundergarh, Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Balangir, Nuapada, Kalahandi, Malkangiri, Koraput and Nabarangpur from 10 pm to 5 am.

Rajasthan: A night curfew was enforced on April 5 across the state and schools have suspended classes up to Class 9 till April 19.



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