GUWAHATI, April 27 - The State government today decided to allow opening of shops in rural areas from tomorrow, barring haats and marketplaces. However, this will not be applicable in the five red zone districts, where the lockdown will continue to be enforced strictly.
�In the red zone districts, the lockdown will continue and it will be enforced strictly,� official sources said disclosing the decisions taken by the council of ministers which met after a video conference the Prime Minister held with all chief ministers.
�Only standalone shops in rural areas in green and orange zones (except containment zones) will open. No bazaar or haat will be allowed. For urban areas, the situation will be reviewed on May 3,� Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna said.
Also, no rural shops will be allowed within 5 km from the boundary of red zone districts. The red zone districts are Dhubri, Nalbari, Morigaon, Golaghat and Goalpara.
�The lockdown will be strict up to 5 km from the boundary of the red zone district, even if the adjacent district is a green zone,� Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said.
The council of ministers decided that inter-district movement of people will continue till May 2. Around 17,000 people availed ASTC bus service on April 25, 26 and 27.
Officials said today�s target was to transport 9,500 people in 593 buses. �The last night trip will move at 9 pm from various locations of the State. Today�s timing were 8 am, 11 am, 8 pm and 9 pm. Today�s occupancy was also quite high compared to the previous days,� officials said.
Meanwhile, all kinds of goods-carrying vehicles will be allowed with only two persons in each vehicle, both in case of empty or laden.
The council of ministers also decided to advise the State Election Commission to arrange the BTAD election process at the earliest using innovative methods of campaigning without violating social distancing norms and by not allowing crowds to gather during electoral campaign process.