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Odisha government has decided to extend the umbrella of exceptions and come out with revised stipulations

Bhubaneswar: 13/4/20: To ensure strict social distancing and isolation to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Odisha has extended the lockdown in the entire State until midnight of April 30, 2020. However, keeping in view critical livelihoods issues, Odisha government has decided to also extend the umbrella of exceptions and come out with revised stipulations for observance by the general public.

The Odisha government has advised people to stay at home and come out only for basic services while strictly following the social distancing guidelines. There shall be complete shutdown in the areas declared as ‘containment zone’ or ‘buffer zone’ by the Health & Family Welfare Department or any other appropriate authority.

While informing about the exceptions and what will remain operational during the second phase of the lockdown, the Special Relief Commissioner of Odisha, Pradeep Jena informed agricultural activities & e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart and Big Basket etc will be allowed to resume their services during this period. Transportation of seeds, movement of tractors will also be allowed during the 2nd phase of the lockdown period. Vegetables will be procured directly from farmer producer organisations. All the cold storages and godowns will be kept open.

Jena informed that in view of the harvesting of Ravi crops and the upcoming Kharif season, the government has decided to exempt farming and irrigation activities. Movement of equipment and vehicles like tractors will be allowed during this time. All the shops related to fertilisers, sales, and repair of agricultural equipment will also remain open.

Procurement of paddy by women SHGs will continue and the government has plans to procure fruits and flowers directly from farmers. Similarly, the procurement of oilseeds and pulses will continue through NAFED and MARKFED. Poultry and seafood processing units and their transportation will be allowed as usual. The government will be allowing marine fishing activities and functioning of fishing harbors, providing a much-needed relief for the fishermen community across the Odisha coastline.

Jena said that “All the co-operative banks and LAMPCS will remain open for the farmers to avail loans for the upcoming Kharif season. The programmes under MGNREGA, PMAY, Biju Pucca Ghar and Swachh Bharat will continue too.

The dhabas and restaurants will be allowed to open but only for takeaway purposes. The SRC has categorically prohibited eating inside such eateries.

Industrial units, mainly MSME units that ensure workers to remain inside premises while maintaining social distancing norms will be allowed to operate.

Though all Anganwadi centers in the state have been ordered to shut down, distribution of food items and nutrition support by Anganwadi workers at the doorsteps of children, women and lactating mothers will be exempted.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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