JAIPUR: In a major step to counter the coronavirus crisis, all government and semi-government offices in Rajasthan, except those linked to essential services, will remain shut till 31st March. This was announced by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot after a review meeting over the coronavirus threat at the CMO on Thursday evening.
Besides government and semi-government departments, this shutdown till March 31 will also be effective on offices of all autonomous institutions, state corporations and mandals across the state. The Gehlot government has also decided to postpone all school and college examinations in the state till further orders.
After reviewing the condition of COVID-19 infection, Gehlot remarked, "All the appropriate arrangements should be made with readiness, taking lessons from Italy to prevent this epidemic."
He also said that the next two weeks are critical to prevent the spread of this deadly virus and advised that every person must play the role of responsible citizen in order to help the state win the battle against this disease.
The government also clarified that a shutdown does not mean a holiday. Personnel have to be present in the office when required. Except for medical reasons and essential family circumstances, leave of any kind will not be allowed during this period.
The shutdown will not be applicable on the officers of the level of Deputy Secretary and Joint Secretary and higher level in the Secretariat, officers of the level of Deputy Director / Executive Engineer in the offices of the Heads of Departments and above.
Th e same will also not be applicable to the District Collector Office and District level officers at the district level. District level officers will decide the presence of minimum personnel on rotation basis, which will not exceed 50 percent at each office on a daily basis.
In the meeting, it was decided that visitors should come only in case of urgent work in the offices of all state departments, corporations and divisions. However departments providing essential services will not be shut down.
These include the departments of Medical and Health, Medical Education, Ayurveda, Energy, All Electricity Corporations, Water Supply, Autonomous Governance, Urban Bodies, Home and Police, Prisons, Home Defence and FSL, Finance, Food and Civil Supplies, Disaster Management and Assistance, Panchayati Raj, Information and Technology, Personnel ( branches), Transport, Roadways and other Urban Bus Corporation, Jaipur Metro, General Administration, State Motor Garage, Law and Information and Public departments.
However, in the remaining departments, 50 per cent of the personnel will attend the office and the rest will work from home. Government Personnel will also be able to work online from home.
Significantly, the Chief Minister has directed that MNREGA workers should be prevented from coming to the workplace till 31 March. During this period honorarium will be paid as per the rules, if they ask for employment. The Chief Minister also directed that the Section 144 imposed in the state to stop the gathering of crowds should be effectively implemented in public interest.
In addition, Gehlot instructed that spas, clubs, bars etc. should be closed in the state till further orders. He directed the officials of the labor department to ensure that all private factories are put in place to ensure necessary measures to prevent hygiene and coronavirus at work. Also, an advisory should be issued to them that workers working in factories be given work from home facilities and paid vacation.
If any individual does not comply with the instructions for home isolation if signs of the disease have been found, action should be taken against them under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
In the meeting, Addl Chief Secretary (Medical and Health) Shri Rohit Kumar Singh informed that 1100 people have been kept in home isolation in the state, and out of this total number, 265 people are being kept in isolation in Jaipur.