Agriculture operations to continue in controlled manner in J&K: Admin

Jammu:  The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Sunday directed for continuation of agriculture operations in a controller manner besides allowing bi-annual movement of nomadic tribes in “small groups at a slow pace”.

However, the administration directed the deputy commissioners and district police heads for strict implementation of restrictions in all the 77 COVID-19 ‘Red Zones’ across the Union Territory.

Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam passed the directions at a high-level meeting which was convened here to discuss the strategy to be adopted for containment of COVID-19 keeping in view the recent spurt in positive cases, an official spokesperson said.

A total of 224 perople 180 in Kashmir and 44 in Jammu — had tested positive for coronavirus till Saturday evening. Of them, four had died including three in the valley and one in Jammu.

To ensure that the rural economy is not affected, Subrahmanyam directed the DCs and SSPs to coordinate with Secretary Agriculture for smooth continuation of agricultural and allied operations by the farmers in their districts.

He asked for proper regulation of food grain mandis and also to notify temporary mandis, in addition to the already notified mandis, to avoid large gatherings of persons at one place.

Regarding the movement of Bakarwal community from Jammu towards higher reaches of Kashmir in search of greener pastures for their animals, the chief secretary directed DCs and SSPs to allow their movement in a regulated manner.

Only small groups at a slow pace should be allowed to move, he said.

To control the spread of coronavirus, he stressed on proper regulation in Red Zones and a complete lockdown in the identified areas.

“District administration, in close coordination with district police, should ensure that there is zero movement of people,” he added.

Subrahmanyam further directed the officials to undertake door-to-door surveys and extensive fumigation in all the Red Zones besides early issuance of operational guidelines for management of the Red Zones by the Health Department so that chances of further spread of virus are minimised.

However, essential supplies are to be ensured in the Red Zones and DCs should plan the deliveries so that people do not face any inconvenience, he added.

Emphasising on sparing medical professionals, the chief secretary directed the DCs not to involve doctors and other staff for survey related work as they have to perform medical duties and instead utilise other staff for such exercises.

He also asked them to promote usage of ‘Aarogya Setu’ app as an essential tool in the fight against COVID-19, the spokesperson said.

With regard to the immediate need of capacity enhancement, the chief secretary directed all DCs to increase the number of isolation and quarantine beds.

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