Bengaluru: In order to take additional measures to combat the spread of new variant of Coronavirus, the State Government has imposed night curfew from 11 pm to 5 am starting today (Dec.24) until 5 am on Jan. 2, 2021, as per Sec 24 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The orders have been issued by T.M.Vijaybhaskar, Chief Secretary and Chairman, State Executive Committee, on Wednesday. He has directed Deputy Commissioners, Police Commissioners, Superintendents of Police and other heads of departments and authorities to strictly implement the night curfew rules.
In fact, the Government issued two orders on a single day yesterday. First it was Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa who announced that night curfew would be imposed from 10 pm on the night of Dec. 23 (yesterday) up to 6 am on Jan. 2, 2021. Later, the CM intervened to make it flexible and relaxed the curfew hours from 11 pm to 5 am. This caused some confusion and the Government came under criticism.
Conditions imposed by Government
• Movement of individuals should remain strictly prohibited between 11 pm and 5 am except for essential activities.
• There should be no restriction in movement of all types of goods through trucks, goods vehicle or any goods carriers including empty vehicles.
• All industries/companies/organisations which require operations at night should be permitted to operate with 50 per cent of staff. Movement of employees of such organisation should be allowed on producing valid ID card issued by their respective organisation/institution.
• Industries/factories which require 24X7 operations will be allowed to operate without any restrictions.
• Movement of long distance night bus, train services and air services are permitted.
• To and fro movement of taxis and auto rickshaws are permitted for dropping/pickup of people to/from bus stops/railway stations/Airports. This movement will be allowed on displaying valid tickets.
• Midnight Christmas mass on Dec. 24 night permitted as per guidelines issued on Dec 17.
• Celebration of Christmas and New Year festival should be as per the guidelines issued on Dec. 17.
Curfew is a sham
The night curfew order has come under severe criticism not only from the general public but also from opposition parties. The public have termed it as ‘sham’ as it was not going to help to contain the new strain of Coronavirus in any manner.
“What is the purpose of imposing night curfew when the Government has allowed bars and restaurants to open till 11 am, running of KSRTC buses, pick up and drop of people by private cabs and running of goods vehicles,” critics said.
Not an owl
A few have reacted that the new strain of Coronavirus was not an owl to move only during night. Politicians have slammed the Chief Minister for taking such a ‘ridiculous’ decision by opening everything till 11 pm. They have sought to know from the Government whether the virus takes break in the morning after working the whole night.
In Bengaluru, Transport Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi announced that KSRTC buses would not be operated after 10 pm since the safety of passengers was more important than revenue.
However, after going to Belagavi, he took a U-turn and said KSRTC buses would be operated as schedule during night for the sake of passengers. He said the CM personally told him that there should be no disruption of bus services during curfew time.