KOLKATA: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Wednesday that standalone shops, other than salons, beauty parlours and liquor shops, will remain open in the eight districts mapped as green zones from May 4. Private buses will also be allowed to ply in the green zones with a maximum of 20 passengers in each vehicle, the CM added.
"The state government will shortly issue a circular in this regard. If the green zones remain unchanged till Monday, the retail standalone shops, which include tea-stalls and betel-leaf shops, laundry, and those selling hardware, will remain open from the first day of next week. But I must request people not to assemble in large groups. If the situation worsens and the zones are mapped as orange or red categories within next Monday, the relaxations will be withdrawn," said Banerjee.
Sources in the Nabanna, the state secretariat, said the decision was taken aiming at saving the livelihood the small traders who survive on their daily business. "This is an attempt to roll the wheels of the lower rung of the rural economy. Public transport facilities will be available within a green zone district. But it has not decided whether the buses will be allowed to travel between two adjoining green zone districts," said an official.
The seven green-zone districts in Bengal are Jhargram, Bankura, Purulia, Birbhum, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur, Alipurduar and Cooch Behar.
Bengal chief minister on Wednesday hit out at the BJP labelling the saffron camp as a vulture waiting for a dead body. "At a time when the entire state machinery is fighting with Covid-19 pandemic, they are busy spreading fake news on social media and finding out trivial lapses or mistakes. They are behaving like a vulture and waiting for a dead body to do dirty politics. I condemn it. I would like to request them with folded hands not to play such a dirty game," said Banerjee.
The chief minister told Bengal’s BJP leader to clean roads of Kolkata with brooms as part of their Swach Bharat Aabhiyaan.