Shillong: The Meghalaya government’s decision to close down state entry points for the first week of September to November has raised questions if the government is defying the Ministry of Home Affairs Unlock 4.0 guidelines. A notification issued on August 22, by the Home Secretary addressed to state chief secretaries clearly states that “there shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/approval/e-permit will be required for such movements.”
Meghalaya deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong clarified that the directive issued by MHA is being respected. Still, the state is putting additional restrictions and regulations as is done by many States in fighting COVID-19.
The notification from the home secretary also states that such restrictions at local level imposed by the district administration or by the state government, amounts to a violation of the guidelines issued by MHA under the provision of Disaster Management Act, 2005.
To this, Tynsong said that there is no question of not abiding by the MHA guidelines or defying it. We have to put additional restrictions to fight the virus. “Safety of the state of Meghalaya is supreme than anything else, and I am sure MHA will understand that every state has their separate regulation,” Tynsong said.
He added that by closing down entry points, it would not mean that transit movement is closed in fact that goes as it is not being interrupted. Essentials commodities and emergency services will be allowed to move in and out of the state.
Tynsong emphasised that the main objective of closing down entry points was to give health and frontline workers some relief from the workload. Another aim is to disinfect all these entry points set up in the state thoroughly.
When asked if this implies that Meghalaya has a shortage of health workers, Tynsong said that the state does have a lack of workforce and that it was an open secret.