Punjab has decided to relax the lockdown measures and declare more goods and services as essentials from April 20. These services include stone crushing and sand and gravel mining under construction activities. Shops dealing in distribution of books to school and college students have also been allowed to operate in view of the new academic session, an official Punjab government release says.
The Punjab government has also brought the sale of air conditioners, air coolers, fans and repair shops under the ambit of essential goods or services. In accordance with the central government's guidelines, industrial activity is allowed in the state's rural parts, provided the owners of these industries, employing ten or more people, should make arrangements for the stay or transport of workers.
Dhabas have also been allowed to stay open but can serve only packed food. Any activity in the hotspots or containment zones shall remain banned, the statement said. Areas like Mohali, Jalandhar, Pathankot and SBS Nagar have been declared as COVID-19 hotspots in Punjab.
The district magistrates have also been authorised to exercise due diligence in managing timings of establishments and other permitted activities, depending upon local requirements and social distancing norms. These directions have been issued to ensure the smooth implementation of the Centre's revised guidelines on novel coronavirus hotspots.
Though not specifically mentioned in the central government guidelines, it is implied that construction-related activities like stone-crushing, sand and gravel mining, sale of cement, steel, etc, will be permitted but their working norms will be regulated as per instructions.
In its revised guidelines, the Centre has also approved construction of roads, irrigation projects, buildings, water supply and sanitation, renewable energy projects, continuation of construction projects in municipal limits.