Odisha Relaxes Lockdown Norms for Agriculture, Allied Activities 

However, there will be no such relaxation in Bhubaneswar since it has emerged as a coronavirus hotspot in the state.

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Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The Odisha government announced relaxation of some restrictions for agriculture, fisheries and allied activities during the second phase of lockdown in the state from 15 April, a senior official said on Monday, 13 April.

However, there will be no such relaxation in Bhubaneswar since it has emerged as a coronavirus hotspot in the state, Special Relief Commissioner P K Jena said.

Forty-one of the total 54 COVID-19 positive cases in Odisha have been detected in Bhubaneswar alone. The government will have separate relaxation guidelines for Bhubaneswar. The state capital will not be given relaxation as there is no agricultural activity or MGNREGA work in Bhubaneswar," Jena said.

Maintaining that social distancing will be strictly implemented during farming activities, Jena said, agriculture and allied activities such as movement of agri machines, opening of cold storages and application for crop loan are exempted from lockdown norms.

"All kinds of fisheries, allied activities and veterinary activities would continue during the second phase of the lockdown," he said.

Odisha is the first state to have extended the ongoing lockdown till April 30 to effectively contain the spread of coronavirus.

The government has also allowed plantation and related activities and construction and repair of water bodies in forest and sanctuaries area, drinking water pipelines and tube well repair work, Jena said.

Activities of 'Mission Shakis' by women self-help groups (SHGs) will also continue as earlier, the SRC said.

Roadside eateries like Dhabas will operate to ensure that drivers of vehicles carrying essential items do not face food scarcity. However, people cannot eat sitting at roadside eateries, but can carry the food and consume it somewhere else, he said.

Relaxation will also be available to home delivery of items through e-commerce platforms and online platforms, he said.

Forest dwellers who eke out a living by collecting kendu leaves will be allowed to do so, the SRC said. However, collectors of the districts concerned can take a decision in this regard taking into account the situation prevailing in the districts.

The SRC said, people can also participate in MGNREGA activities by maintaining social distancing.

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