From June 1: more people in public transport, more shops, state govt offices will open from June 8, says Bengal CM

State government offices in Bengal will start functioning from June 8, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday. Banerjee also announced that tea gardens can start operating with full capacity of workers from June 1.

The state government is also planning several other steps to resume operations in certain others sectors while maintaining social distancing and proper sanitising. Some of these have already been announced earlier, but most of these include essential services. A number of non-essential services have also resumed outside containment zones. The state has been divided into containment and buffer zones based on where COVID-19 cases have been reported.

The idea now is to have more areas open. However, a nation-wide decision is expected to be announced by the Centre as the earlier announced lockdown comes to an end May 31. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has spoken with chief ministers of all states and the decision of the Centre is expected to be based on these inputs.

Banerjee said that the state is considering allowing the number of passengers in public and private buses to be equal to the number of seats in buses – which was so far limited to 20 passengers per bus. In autorickshaws, the number of passengers will however, be limited to two. She appealed to not increase the fare as “all of us are going through trying times” and said that people have social responsibilities too.

The state announced the opening of places of worship from June 1. More details of the various sectors that are to be open from June 1 are expected to be released by the state government soon. Schools however, will remain closed till June 30.

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