Karnataka Cabinet backs extension of lockdown by 15 days

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on April 09, 2020

Karnataka Cabinet has backed extension of lock-down by 15 days while supporting farmers to take up pre-monsoon agricultural activities, ensuring distribution of foodgrains to the poor and extending GST payment deadline till June 30.

The Cabinet also decided to cut by 30 per cent salaries and allowances of MLAs, MLCs and Ministers, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker for one year, in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases. This will save the State exchequer ₹15.36 crore.

On the Covid-19 cases front, the state reported its six death as a patient succumbed in Gadag in north Karnataka. 16 new positive cases have been confirmed and till date, state has cumulatively 197 confirmed Coronavirus positive cases.

Briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said it was decided to extend the lockdown after April 14 based on the suggestions given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his video-conference with CMs of all States on Saturday.

Before taking the salary cut decision, Yediyurappa reportedly consulted Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah and other the Congress leaders.

“Today’s Cabinet also discussed measures as to how to tackle drought in 49 taluks. Also there were reports of paddy and horticulture farmers losing their crops due to rains. Deputy Commissioners and officials of the agriculture department have been asked to submit reports,” he said.

The Chief Minister said, “The Cabinet has decided to release ₹1 lakh each to 49 drought-hit taluks for drinking water purposes and ₹50 lakh for town panchayats.”

Political stunt

Meanwhile, Former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy decried BJP leaders’ and their volunteers of vote mongering in times of pandemic. “Shameless individual publicity campaign on government’s relief material to construction workers. Is the PM, who has not said anything so far on his party leaders communalising the virus, okay with some of his party leaders politicising Government’s relief materials?”

He further said “BJP’s pettiness is worse than the disease itself. Some leaders have an eye for votes even when homeless poor suffer. Is the Government relief intended only for BJP supporters? Will the PM answer?”

Tech deployment

Bengaluru City Police (BCP) South Division deployed drones to improve lock-down implementation. “We request you to join this fight.. Be our third eye Using Drone Cameras equipped with audio announcement system, This unique initiative is to monitor people’s unnecessary movement on streets amidst the lock-down,” said Rohini Katoch Sepat Deputy Commissioner of Police-south.

Farmers connect

Jagadeesh Kotturshettar, president of Sarjapura Resident Welfare Association (RWA) said “We connected with local farmers, made a representative to sell from their end. We asked 100-plus apartment/villa associations about requirement and planned daily schedule of the mobile vegetable van.”

Commending the RWAs engaging directly with farmers in procuring vegetables and groceries, Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao tweeted “I admire Sarjapur Residents Welfare Association to directly trade with Farmers to buy vegetables without middlemen. Win-Win Situation Marvellous initiative ...hope it continues beyond Corona..”

Published on April 09, 2020

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