West Bengal Extends Lockdown Till May 31, Mamata Banerjee Announces Slew of Relaxations

Extending the ongoing lockdown till May 31 in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced a slew of relaxations and said her government will not impose night curfew in the state as proposed by the Centre.

Banerjee said hawkers, salon and parlour owners will be allowed to reopen their shops from May 27. She said apart from 105 trains, which the state has already requisitioned, her government will request the railways for 120 more Shramik Special trains in the next few days to bring back migrant labourers.

"We won't officially declare night curfew because people are already under a lot of stress. We don't want to increase their sufferings. But we will request people not to venture out of their homes between 7 pm and 7 am, or else police would take action," she said.

The government has divided the state in three categories -- A, B and C zones -- to restart economic activities from May 21.

While 'A’ zone is known as "affected" area where no business activities will be allowed, partial activities will be allowed in zone ‘B’ or the "buffer zone". In zone ‘C’ (clean zone), complete business activities will be allowed.

For street vendors, Banerjee said they will be allowed to conduct business on alternate days in non-containment zones as it will be difficult to allow all street vendors at one time. "I have asked Kolkata Municipal Corporation Mayor, Home Secretary, Kolkata Police Commissioner, Director General of Police to chalk out an elaborate plan on street vendors at the earliest. They will be allowed to do business from May 27 on a rotational basis,” she said.

From May 21, intra-state bus services will be functional and auto-rickshaws will be allowed to ply from May 27 with only two passengers, she added.