The State Legislative Assembly session is scheduled from September 21 Credit: Twitter image

Gangtok: The Sikkim government has decided to impose total lockdown again in the Gangtok Municipal Area from September 21 to 27. The decision was taken owing to a rising number of COVID cases reported from the capital region of the Himalayan state.

Gangtok Municipal Area stretches from Tashi View Point in the North including the Bulbuley bypass, Banjhakri falls bordering Ranka in the West, Army cantonment area falls outside of the Gangtok Municipal area jurisdiction in Syari area, includes the cooperative area but stretches till the Bhusuk-Tathangchen crematorium area while down south it stretches till Rani Khola till the Jalipool bridge bordering the crematorium. In the Adampool area, it stretches till the bridge and sewerage plant area.

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Amid a government notification released by the state home department, principal secretary R Telang told EastMojo, “We are imposing a lockdown owing to the rise in the number of COVID cases. Most of the day-to -day functioning will be closed. However, the State Legislative Assembly session scheduled from September 21 will take place.”

Earlier in the day, five legislators had tested positive, posing a threat to the functioning of the much-awaited Assembly session. The same has now been backed by the Home Department and the Assembly session will take place. The movement of the legislators and those bound for Assembly secretariat as officials will not be restricted.

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Among some of the restrictions, there are complete restrictions on the movement of passenger and private vehicles including two-wheelers. Movement of government vehicles is allowed for only those officers above the designation of Joint Secretary, that too with only valid ID proofs.

Emergency services and movement will not be restricted, along with medical emergencies.

Among commercial establishments, Medical shops and ration shops have been exempted but every other shop and complexes including restaurants and bars, gymnasium, and garages will remain closed.

Hotels and guest houses will remain closed apart from those empanelled with the East District Administration.

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Government offices will remain shut but central government offices will remain open. For State government offices, 30% of staff strength is encouraged with a pooled vehicle to be arranged by the department for staff commute.

Additional directives mentioned in the notification direct the Health Department to issue fresh COVID 19 protocol for free interstate movement of people from October 1.

Inner Line Permits for foreign tourists having valid visas will be issued from October 10. Tourism Department in consultation with Health Department shall issue SOP for the operation of hotels, homestays, and tourism-related services with effect from October 10. Bookings for such hotels and homestays can begin from September 27. Helicopter services will resume regular Operations from October 1.

Odd and even restrictions for taxis and passenger vehicles shall be lifted from October 1. Private vehicles shall follow the restrictions until further order, mentions the notification.

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