New lockdown dates were announced in West Bengal by the Mamata Banerjee government on Monday only a week after they were changed. Reports said that this was because of religious ceremonies in several part of Bengal.
The lockdown for a few days in August was announced by the government in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the state.
A source told The Telegraph, “On August 16 and 17, several districts, including those in Jungle Mahal, observe Manasa Puja. People from the districts had requested the government to withdraw the complete lockdown on these dates.”
Those two days have been removed from the 7 days of lockdown that the West Bengal had announced last week.
Here are the new dates of lockdown in West Bengal for August:
August 5 (Wednesday),
August 8 (Saturday)
August 20 (Thursday)
August 21 (Friday)
August 27 (Thursday)
August 28 (Friday)
August 31 (Monday)
State chief secretary Rajiva Sinha announced the new dates on Monday. He was quoted by PTI as saying, “We have taken this decision to partially modify the order keeping in view of the requests received and in due consideration of the public sentiment.”
While the government first announced a bi-weekly lockdown and Banerjee had said she wanted to implement it over every weekend of the month, it was not possible to implement this because of several religious and other festivals like Bakri Eid, Raksha Bandhan and Independence Day.
The dates were first changed to accommodate the day after Bakri Eid. Now it was changed to ensure people could celebrate Manasa puja.
Given that there is complete lockdown in Bengal in these particular dates, and even trains and flights will be cancelled, this has not gone down well with many people.
Opposition leaders criticised the West Bengal government for changing the dates so many times.
Leader of the Opposition in Bengal, Abdul Mannan was quoted by Anandabazar Patrika as saying, “The government is playing with people’s lives. It is completely directionless.”
Here’s what will be open and shut during this lockdown:
— government and private offices will be shut.
— public transport will not be available
— flights and trains will be cancelled on lockdown dates
— All malls and market complexes will be shut
— grocery and medicine shops will be open.
— Petrol pumps will be open as well.