Keeping in mind several poor people on the streets of Hyderabad who are the worst affected during the lockdown to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) said that it would continue its 'Annapurna' scheme, which provides a nutritious meal for Rs 5.
The announcement came after Hyderabad Member of Parliament (MP) Asaduddin Owaisi tagged Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) Principal Secretary Arvind Kumar, and said, "Sir, please continue the Rs 5 meal scheme at all the centres of twin cities (Hyderabad and Secunderabad) even during the lockdown. The poor are hit by economic downturn also."
"Spoke with the GHMC Commissioner and ensuring that Rs 5 meal scheme under Annapurna shall continue at all centres in the twin cities during this period!" Arvind Kumar said in response to the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief.
"Thank you sir, this timely decision of the Telangana Chief Minister will help the poor people in having a decent meal," Owaisi replied.
As per the GHMC's website, the scheme started with "eight centres in 2014 and has now expanded to 150 centre’s serving 25,000 people with hot and nourishing meals daily."
The Telangana government on Monday asserted that the total lockdown announced by it to check the spread of coronavirus would be implemented strictly.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, state Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar said nobody would be allowed outside from 7 pm to 6 am daily as part of the lockdown. The purchase of essential commodities should be done during the day, he added.
Somesh Kumar said those who had returned from foreign countries should strictly remain in quarantine. If the foreign-returnees were found absent when police or other officers visited them, they would be put in government quarantine centres, he said.
Action would be taken on their passports as per law, he added.
Telangana Director General of Police (DGP) Mahender Reddy said that private vehicles were not allowed to travel for long distances and were allowed to move only within their localities. Public transport has been disallowed under the lockdown.