HP rules out lockdown, schools closed till Apr 21

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Cabinet on Friday decided to close down all educational institutions till April 21.

The Cabinet, however ruled out lockdown in the state and also imposation of night curfew or other restrictions on mobility from outside.

The Cabinet was presided over by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur which reviewed the Covid-19 situation in the State.

While expressing concern over the sharp surge in Covid-19 cases in the State, the Cabinet decided to close all educational institutions including teaching and non-teaching staff, except those required for exam duties till April 21, said a government spokesman.

The sudden spike in the cases has already alarmed the state, though the government has imposed curbs on social, religious and other gathering including wedding functions.

During the municipal corporation elections, the Covid cases have taken a biggest jump in districts of Una, Solan, Kangra, Sirmaur and Shimla.

"It is fact that we are facing a tough time and cases are rising very fast. The fatality is also very high in the second wave," admitted minister for urban development Suresh Bhardwaj.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet decided to fill up 311 posts of Forest Guards in Forest Department on contract basis through direct recruitment. These include already approved 113 posts of Forest Guards by the State Cabinet during its meeting held on March 9 this year.

The Cabinet decided to fill up 25 posts of Agriculture Development Officers on contract basis in Agriculture Department through HP Public Service Commission against direct recruitment quota.

The Cabinet also gave its nod to extend employment on compassionate ground to the eligible indigent of the deceased employees against available vacant posts of Class-III and Class-IV in relaxation of 5 percent quota as against the available vacant posts of class-III and Class-IV in DC offices of Shimla, Kinnaur, Solan and Kangra and office of Settlement Officer Kangra Division.

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