Strict action from tomorrow against those violating lockdown: CM Kejriwal


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  • 50% of DTC buses to run from Tuesday to avoid inconvenience for people traveling for essential services: CM Arvind Kejriwal

PRESS RELEASE
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF MINISTER
GOVT. OF NCT OF DELHI

New Delhi: Addressing a video-conference on Monday, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal warned the people of stringent actions against violating rules under the official lockdown that has been imposed in Delhi till March 31. He said that there are 30 cases in Delhi to date out of which 23 were reported from people who came from the affected countries and 7 were affected through the local transmission. Regarding the essential services, CM Kejriwal announced that 50 percent of the state-run buses will run from Tuesday to ensure those involved in essential services do not face problems. He also appealed to the landlords to not force tenants to pay rents and announced that mid-day meals will be delivered at the homes of children and Aanganwadi workers.

CM Arvind Kejriwal said, “The Delhi government has ordered a lockdown of Delhi from today morning from 6 AM till March 31 at midnight. The Delhi government has come up with this decision, keeping in mind the recent outbreak of the coronavirus. The public transport services have also been suspended, and shopping malls, markets, and others have also been closed. Only essential services will be available and people associated with the essential services will be exempted from this lockdown.”

“Today the Delhi witnessed that the majority of the people are following the rules but some people have violated the order of lockdown. It is important to understand the situation of this pandemic. The Delhi government does not wish to make the lives of people difficult but we are doing this to tackle the crisis,” he added.

He said, “We have decided to impose the lockdown for the welfare of the residents of Delhi. We want everyone to be in good health, every family to be in good health so that we are collectively able to combat this outbreak of coronavirus. The situation of first world countries like Italy and America is also alarming. We are fortunate that we got enough time to prepare in advance because we could learn from the outbreak of the virus in other nations and could take precautionary measures since the research on this new virus is still going on. However, one fundamental thing that we have learned is that this virus spreads very fast.”

Citing Italy and US as the primary examples, CM Arvind Kejriwal said that on February 23, Italy had only a hundred reported cases and today they’re more than 40,000 cases are reported from Italy, amongst which more than 5,000 people have died. In America on February 29, there were only 68 reported cases and only one death was reported but today there are more than 35,000 cases and more than 418 people have died. This virus doesn’t see gender or class of people, therefore, the lockdown was mandatory. Till today in Delhi, there are only 30 cases, 23 of these cases were reported from people who came from the affected countries and 7 are those who got the disease from these affected people. “The situation of Delhi is under control but this is not the time to cheer up but to follow the restrictions because if we do not take action today and the disease spreads to a large number of people then the situation will become very tough,” said the CM.

CM Arvind Kejriwal requested the people to follow the order of lockdown and do not leave your houses. He said, “Whatever we are doing today is for you and the entire Delhi. From tomorrow if anybody is violating the order of lockdown then the government will be forced to take strict actions against the violators. The government will have to take strict actions to make you safe and to make Delhi safer.”

CM Arvind Kejriwal said that the restrictions that have been imposed in the wake of Corona, is causing a financial burden on the poor and daily wage laborers. “We are very worried about them and we do not want them to suffer. We had initially decided to set-up kitchens across the city and distribute free food to the poor, which had to be shunned because the free distribution of food will result in a mass gathering of the people at a particular spot. Therefore, we have decided to provide 7.5 kilos of free rations to 72 lakh beneficiaries attached to our ration scheme for one month. Earlier, wheat was available at Rs. 2/kg, rice at Rs.3/kg and sugar at Rs. 13/kg. Now, the ration will be provided free of cost at 50% more quantity than normal entitlements for April. We will also supply the ration for April, from March 30, because it will take us time to procure the ration from the central government and distribute it. I would like to request the people to maintain a distance of one meter between each other in the ration queues. I assure that all of you will get the ration. Around 18 lakh families will be covered under the ration scheme. The government has also decided to double the pension under the widow pension scheme for 2.5 lakh beneficiaries, the old-age pension scheme for 5 lakh beneficiaries, and disability pension scheme for 1 lakh beneficiaries. The beneficiaries will get the pension amount for March and April, by April 7. We hope that all these measures will bring a little relief to these people and their families. In addition to this, we are also arranging for free lunch and dinner facilities in 220-night shelters for every person,” he said.

CM Arvind Kejriwal said that in the wake of Coronavirus, his government had to stop the mid-day meals of students and to close down the Anganwadi centers but now we have decided to provide the mid-day meals. Meals will be delivered in packets to their homes.

“Many people have asked me how can they help and contribute to combating this pandemic. I want to ensure everyone that we will need everyone’s help in this fight. This is the time to show and obligation to humanity. My request to all that do not allow anyone to suffer in hunger. I want to request that people who work in your home, home nurses, drivers, contract employees, factory employees, full-time employees, part-time employees, and others should get a full salary. It is your responsibility to ensure that they do not face any kind of trouble and the government on this matter. If possible please provide them with some advance,” added the CM.

CM Arvind Kejriwal requested the landlords and employers to pay heed to tenants and employees in times of distress. He said, “I also want to request the landlords of Delhi that if any tenant says that they are unable to pay the rent then do not force them. I am not asking you not to take the rent but just requesting you that considering the situation take the rent next month or in an installment format.”

“I have also received complaints from people who work in essential services have faced problems in traveling, therefore, from tomorrow DTC buses will ply in 50% capacity today it was 25%. I have received queries from people who make masks, sanitizers, other medicines regarding the service. This is to inform you all that all the essential services will be open which includes medicines, food items, milk, and groceries. People who work in this sector are exempted from this restriction and also transportation of these goods is exempted from the lockdown,” said the CM.