“Will boost Uttarakhand economy once lockdown ends”

Uttarakhand has been making all-out efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, with Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat leading from the front. The hill state has reported 48 cases so far, with no deaths. In an interview to IANS on a range of issues, Rawat said efforts have already been initiated to boost the state economy, and that the process will gain momentum once the lockdown ends. He said a ministerial group and high-powered committee will be constituted to gear up the state economy and generate jobs. Excerpts from interview: ...

By Navneet Mishra

The Home Ministry has issued guidelines on opening of shops and allowed specific activities in the second phase of the lockdown from April 20. What all has the Uttarakhand Government allowed and what precautions are being observed?

As per the central guidelines, we have allowed manufacture of essential items, pharmaceuticals, food processing, manufacturing for supply chains, industry in the rural areas, and brickworks, albeit with adherence to social distancing and other norms.

What steps have your Government taken to ensure supply of essential commodities?

We have taken innovative steps in this regard, including Jan Apoorti app. People can order for supplies of essential items through this app while sitting in their homes. The app has since become very popular.

What has been done to tackle violations of lockdown norms?

We are taking strict action against violators. Instructions in this regard are very clear. As many as 9,671 persons have been arrested and 2150 cases lodged till April 25. Also, 24,342 challans have been issued under the Motor Vehicle Act, and 5,203 vehicles seized. Fines totalling Rs 1.20 crore has been realised.