Religious places, including temples, will reopen in Himachal Pradesh from September 10, the state cabinet decided in a meeting held here on Friday.

The meeting was presided over by chief minister Jai Ram Thakur.

The language, art and culture department will issue the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for opening the temples and measures to be taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Temples in Himachal were shut for public on March 17 in wake of the pandemic. There has been a demand from the public to reopen temples. The state has some major shrines including Naina Devi, Baba Balak Nath, Chamunda, Bajreshwari Devi, Jwalamukhi, Baijnath and Chintpurni.

Registration for people entering state to continue

The cabinet has also decided to continue with the registration process for people entering the state till September 15. The registration system was put in place for monitoring and contact tracing of Covid-19 cases.

It also decided to reduce the quarantine period for people coming from other states from 14 days to 10 days. The district administration will strictly enforce the use of masks and social distancing.

The cabinet also decided to provide wheat flour and rice to the income tax payee Above Poverty Line (APL) Consumers under the Public Distribution System as earlier. Pulses, edible oil, salt and sugar will also be given on actual rates.

To achieve the vision of ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ by creating a sustainable ecosystem of affordable rental housing solutions for urban migrants/poor and to achieve overall objective of ‘Housing for All’, the state cabinet has decided to request the ministry of housing and urban affairs to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) related to Affordable Rental Housing Complexes Scheme with the state government.

The cabinet also gave approval to open a sub-treasury at Nagrota Bagwan in Kangra district along with creation of five posts of different categories to manage it.

A consent was given to open a sub-tehsil at Bagachanogi in Thunag of Mandi district and creation of 12 posts of different categories. The newly created sub-tehsil will have six patwar circles including Shawa, Kalhani, Kalipar, Shilhibagi and Jainshla.

Approval was also given to open patwar circle Jainshla under Thunag tehsil of Mandi district keeping in view the tough geographic conditions of the area.

The cabinet also decided to fill up 10 posts of Class IV employees in Panchayati Raj Department and approved transfer of gram panchayat Kot from police station Shimla East (Chhota Shimla) to police station west (Boileauganj) to facilitate people.

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