Ujjain: Following the discussion of CM with the district-level Crisis Management Committees lockdown has been extended till April 19 in urban areas of districts including Ujjain, Jabalpur and Indore.
The district level Crisis Management Committee (CMC), after a held at Brihaspati Bhavan on Saturday, extended the lockdown period from Monday (April 12) at 6 am to next Monday (April 19) at 6 am. Besides Ujjain City, it will be applicable for all urban areas of the district.
As per the previous order, the lockdown was to continue till 6 am on April 12, but looking at the high number of corona cases in the district as well as neighbouring districts, the CMC decided to extend the lockdown period.
However, no official press release was issued with regard to extension of the lockdown period and about its modalities.
Official sources said that to avoid any confusion over the extension of lockdown period, new orders were withheld on Saturday, and it will be issued on Sunday.
However, a video statement of the collector Asheesh Singh has gone viral on the social media in which he is saying that the CMC has decided to extend the lockdown period up to 6 am of April 19.
Collector said that people will be allowed to purchase kirana (grocery) items from the retail shops in their respective localities, but nobody will be allowed to travel to other localities to purchase kirana items.
The retailers will be allowed to purchase kirana items from the wholesale markets, he added.
On being contacted, collector Singh confirmed to Free Press that the decision to extend the lockdown is final.
“Till Sunday previous order will remain applicable and we will issue fresh order tomorrow,” he said adding that exemptions like opening of kirana shops will be applicable from Monday.Lockdown decision draws flak
The ‘informal’ announcement by the district level Crisis Management Committee (CMC) to extend the lockdown to 6 am on April 19 has received brickbats from people across the city on Saturday. A number of traders and business associations and even the social organisations criticised the decision on different grounds.
In a statement, Naipeth Vyapari Association president Vijay Agrawal expressed surprise on such a hush-hush decision saying they were not prepared for the same in wake of lack of arrangements.
“Ujjain’s trading activities are already on ventilator and if lockdown period continues for a long, then it will force the traders to more hardships,” he added. He demanded that CMC should give a second thought to its decision.
Similarly, Ujjain Goods Association president Saurabh Jain said that a shortage of many items may emerge in wake of non-plying of transport vehicles. He said that the administration should first clarify about the role of transporters during the lockdown as people of small towns like Shajapur, Shujalpur, Maksi and Agar may face crisis. These traders purchase essential items from Ujjain and Indore and if their transportation is curbed they will be in deep trouble.
Grain merchant Govind Khandelwal stated that the latest wave of Covid-19 has proved administrative officers and peoples’ representatives to be meaningless. He said people have been worst hit owning to various mismanagements and irregularities and the role of bureaucracy and peoples’ representative have been of mute spectators.
Social worker Azam Shaikh stated that the CMC’s decision to extend the lockdown is flawed. “Why such decision was taken in such haste and why the decision makers did not give thought to the holy month of Ramzan,” he asked.
Meanwhile, a statement of Member of Parliament (MP) Anil Firojia, which went viral on social media on Saturday, exposed lack of preparedness on part of the people’s representatives. Soon after CMC’s meet, the MP was seen seconding the lockdown decision under the pretext that as there would be a huge inflow of people from ongoing Haridwar Kumbh in Ujjain on account of Somwati Amavasya Snan (Monday), the lockdown period had to be extended.
On the other hand, local MLA and higher education (cabinet) minister Mohan Yadav issued a video statement from Kolkata, where he is camping for the West Bengal Assembly elections. He admitted that the CMC’s decision to extend the lockdown period was a harsh one. “But we have to take this decision to save the people of Ujjain from the pandemic,” he said. The minister also said that to break the chain of infection, such a decision was imminent.