CHANDIGARH: Sand and gravel mining and stone crushing have been permitted as part of the construction-related activities in Punjab from Monday, according to the state home department.
Also in view of the new academic session, shops dealing in distribution of books to school and college students have also been allowed to operate, as per an official release here.
In view of approaching summer season, the sale of air-conditioners, air-coolers, fans and their repair shops have also been brought under ambit of essential goods or services and have been allowed to remain open and operate.
In line with the Centre's guidelines, industrial activity is allowed in the state's rural areas, provided that the operators of industries, employing ten or more persons, should make all arrangements for the stay or transport of workers.
'Dhabas' have also been allowed to remain open but they will serve only packed food, the statement said.
However, any activity in the containment zones would continue to be banned, it said.
The state government has authorised the District Magistrates to exercise due diligence in regulating timings of various establishments including industries and other permitted activity depending upon local requirements and norms of social distancing, the release said.
These directions have been issued for the implementation of the government of India's revised COVID-19 containment guidelines.
Mohali, Jalandhar, SBS Nagar and Pathankot districts have been declared as coronavirus hotspots in Punjab.
According to instructions issued to all the Deputy Commissioners by the state home department, construction-related activities like stone crushers, sand and gravel mining have been permitted.
"Even though it is not specifically mentioned in the (Centre's) guidelines, it is implied that the related activities in terms of stone crushers, mining of sand and gravel and its transport, sale outlets of cement, steel etc, are also to be permitted. Their working norms can be regulated," as per instructions.
The Centre in its revised guidelines to states for containment of COVID-19 has allowed construction of roads, irrigation projects, buildings, water supply and sanitation, renewable energy projects, continuation of works in construction projects within the municipal limits.
A Punjab government release said that it was decided that state would follow complete curfew till May 3 and the prevailing practice of requiring a curfew pass for movement during curfew shall continue.
The release further said the rule for setting up a containment zone is the discovery of two or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a locality.
The zone is to be set-up by district authorities based on the number of cases, their geographical distribution and feasibility of sealing the area, it further said.
The containment zone can accordingly be starting from a locality to a colony, sector(village), single or multiple wards or the entire city itself, the release further said.