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Govt offices reopen in Assam after 27 days of lockdown

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GUWAHATI: Government offices reopened in Assam on Tuesday after 27 days of the COVID-induced lockdown with presence of the mandated 33 per cent work force even as all precautionary measures were taken to ensure social distancing and hygiene norms.

All the departments in the Assam Secretariat here also started functioning with   elaborate arrangements of hand sanitisers and hand washbasins made at the main entrance and in front of every gate of each block.

Provisions for thermal screening by health officials have also been arranged at the secretariat while rules have been framed for staff to wear masks and maintain the mandatory one-metre social distancing norm while sitting.

Special buses under Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) have been arranged across eight designated routes of the city to transport employees to and from the offices during morning and evening hours.

Employees taking the services would however have to wear masks and maintain social distancing. The bus service will be provided by the Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) and it will operate on eight routes of the city.

According to the directive of the secretariat administration department, all officials in the rank of deputy secretary and above would have to attend office regularly.

Divisional commissioners, deputy commissioners and sub-divisional officers have been asked to ensure a maximum of 33 per cent of the employee in the cadre of Grade-II, III and IV to attend for smooth functioning of the offices.

A roster of duty has been drafted by the respective heads of offices for the employees to attend offices on allocated dates till May 3, 2020.

“The entry of non-essential visitors has been prohibited in the Secretariat during this arrangement,” state chief secretary, Kumar Sanjay Krishna had told reporters on Monday.

However, the instructions shall not apply to offices and employees engaged in essential and emergency services and those directly engaged in taking measures to control the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to the notification, officers/employees who will be at home on a particular day, as per the roster drawn up, must be available on telephone, mobile phone and electronic means of communication at all times.

Meanwhile, a greater number of vehicles were seen on the arterial roads of the city on Tuesday compared to other days of the lockdown, even as police personnel resorted to rigorous checks at central points.

“We are taking all requisite measures to ensure strict compliance of the lockdown norms. Barring essential services and those engaged in the fight against COVID, we have taken action against violators,” a senior police official, said.

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