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Karnataka to Ease Lockdown from April 23, But IT Sector to Continue Work from Home

Image used for representation. (PTI)

Image used for representation. (PTI)

These relaxations, however, will not be applicable in any identified hotspots and containment zones within the state.

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has decided to put into effect certain relaxations to the ongoing lockdown, as prescribed by the Home Ministry, from Thursday.

The Centre had made provisions for allowing certain relaxations from April 20, which the state government did not implement. Tightening the relaxation rules further, the Karnataka cabinet on Wednesday decided to ease the lockdown from April 23.

These relaxations, however, will not be applicable in any identified hotspots and containment zones.

Professionals of the IT sector – which forms the backbone of the state's economy – will be required to work from home. The Home Ministry's guidelines allow 50% of the workforce in the sector to work from their site, but the state government has mandated that only essential minimum staff will be allowed in offices.

In keeping with the MHA guidelines, sectors such as health including AYUSH, agriculture and allied activities and finance will remain functional in the state. MNREGA work will also be allowed, but with strict implementation of social distancing measures and mandatory face masks.

Karnataka will also permit the construction of roads, irrigation and industrial projects including MSMEs in rural areas employing only on-site labour. In the cities, the Metro Rail projects within municipal corporation limits will be allowed to carry out in-situ construction.

The state government's order also makes penal provisions for those found violating the lockdown measures. They will be liable to face action as per provisions of section 51 to 60 of the Disaster management Act 2005, besides legal action under section 188 of IPC.

On Wednesday, the state cabinet approved the promulgation of an ordinance to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, making violation of lockdown as a cognizable and non bailable offence. The ordinance also allows for compensation to be provided to injured healthcare workers in case of acts of violence against them as well as damage of property.

first published:April 22, 2020, 19:06 IST