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Kolkata:

 
In order to facilitate easy daily commute amid coronavirus crisis, the West Bengal government on Wednesday announced two work shifts for its employees and also the closure of schools in July as well.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that government staff will work in two shifts – from 9.30 am to 2.30 pm and 12 noon to 5.50 pm.

“The earlier timing was 10.30 am to 5.30 pm. But now, we have split it into two shifts for easy movement of all government employees. I understand that commuting by public transport is a big issue,” she told a press conference at the state Secretariat Nabanno.

She said that unlike other states, her government was giving salaries to all its employees without deductions amid the Covid-19 situation. She said if any government employee gets late in reaching office by an hour no penalty would be levied for late attendance.

Banerjee said that all schools will also remain closed in July but the examinations will be conducted. Earlier, the state government had said that all schools would remain closed till June 30.

“I urge all school authorities not to encourage any school fees hike,” the Chief Minister said.

Calling the nationwide lockdown as an “unplanned move” by the Centre, she blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government for not taking adequate care of the migrant workers across the country.

“They have not done anything. But in Bengal, we have taken care of all migrant workers. So far, 11 lakh migrant labourers have returned to Bengal by trains and over 30,000 are yet to come,” Banerjee said, adding that the state government has allowed gathering of only 25 people at a time in a place for marriage and religious functions.

Banerjee also said that she never dubbed the Centre’s Shramik Special trains as ‘Corona Express’.

“My words were misinterpreted. If you find out the old footage you can see that I never said anything of that sort. I urge everyone to wear face masks and maintain the social-distancing guidelines. We need to take care of our health. It is not possible to stay home and die. People need to step out for work. But, we must keep in mind our health issues always,” she said.

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