Catch all the recent news in the Himalayan region with our weekly newsletter (11 May to 17 May), A week in the Himalayas. We bring you the recent updates on mountains, northeast, environment and much more!

PM Modi Announces Rs 20 Lakh Crore Economic Package to revive the economy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package to tackle the impact of coronavirus on the economy. The special economic package, which is claimed to be equivalent to around 10 per cent of India’s GDP, would be the main component of “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat” or self-reliant India. The said package will focus on land, labour, liquidity and law; it will help small businesses, labourers, farmers, the middle class and cottage industries. It will focus on the well-being of migrant workers too. So far, the Ministry of Finance has released four packages on small businesses and MSMEs, urban poor and migrant workers, agriculture and infrastructure.

Meghalaya makes bio-medical waste handlers registration compulsory

The Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) has directed all persons handling biomedical waste in any form to avail the authorisation for such activities by submitting an application (Form II of the Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016) to the board. The directive comes as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

The member secretary of the board, in a statement, said that all concerned healthcare persons and institutions who have not complied with the requirement of the Rules should do so within 15 days. Failing to comply with the norms will result in penalty comprising imprisonment for 5 years or fine of Rs 1 lakh, or both.

Manipur to form COVID-19 management committee for each assembly constituency

Manipur government has decided to constitute a COVID-19 management committee for each assembly constituency in the state. There are 60 assembly constituencies in the state. In an official memorandum, the home department had said that the move is to effectively manage the establishment, management of quarantine centers and implementation of quarantine protocols.

As per the memorandum, the MLA of the respective assembly constituencies will be the chairperson of the committee. It will include the district Superintendent of Police, Chief Medical Officers, one representative each from two local civil society organizations or NGOs to be nominated by Deputy Commissioner.

Uttarakhand faces huge COVID-19 challenge as 3 lakh migrants prepare to return home

As Uttarakhand continues to evacuate its residents stranded in different places, testing of the migrants is proving to be a herculean task for the government. Three lakh migrants have registered with the state government to return home. The state government has been bringing its migrants from various states in buses and trains.

It has brought back about 34,000 migrants till May 12 by state transport buses with 2,400 more to reach from Mumbai and Pune. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has also acknowledged that the state faces a big challenge because many of those returning to the state might be infected. He has further said that the state is expecting at least 2 to 2.25 lakh migrants to return of which about 25,000 are expected to be infected.

Mizoram extends lockdown till May 31 despite being declared as ‘green zone’

The Mizoram Government on 15 May extended lockdown till May 31 to check the spread of coronavirus infection. The decision was taken after various political parties and several organisations, including those of NGOs, churches and doctors, favoured extension of the lockdown at a meeting held on 14 May. Amidst this extension, a task group has formed to study the extension of insurance cover to frontline workers such as police, village or local-level task force volunteers, government employees on special duty and those who pick garbage from quarantine facilities.

Uttarakhand flouts measures on bio-medical waste management

Media reports have highlighted that people in home quarantines are flouting the rules checking scientific disposal of the bio-medical waste being generated in the state. Almost 49,000 people are in home quarantine across the state. The civic authorities have highlighted that the waste is not being segregated by people in home quarantines, putting garbage collectors at risk. Around 4500 are in home quarantine in Dehradun, 3531 are in Haridwar, 6515 in Chamoli and 5276 in Tehri.

(By: Gautam Kumar)









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