New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday asked the Tamil Nadu government to retract its order that allowed cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes in the state to increase their seating capacity from existing 50 per cent to 100 per cent. In a statement, the Ministry said the state government's move to increase the seating capacity diluted its guidelines that had been issued under the Disaster Management Act of 2005 in a bid to contain the outbreak of the pandemic. 

"Government of Tamil Nadu order of permitting the increase of the seating capacity of Cinema/theaters/multiplexes from existing 50% to 100% is dilution of MHA order. States and UT shall not dilute guidelines issued under the DM act in any manner. In view of the above, Govt of Tamil Nadu is requested to immediately issue necessary order to bring their Guidelines in line with the MHA guidelines dated 28 December 2020 and inform compliance to the Ministry," the MHA said in a statement, as quoted by news agency ANI.

The Ministry had allowed the cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes to reopen from October last year with 50 per cent seating capacity. However, The Edappadi K Palaniswami-led Tamil Nadu government on Monday allowed cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes to increase their seating capacity from existing 50 per cent to 100 per cent following COVID-19 protocols. In a statement, the Tamil Nadu government said that precautionary measures for COVID-19 will be screened during the showtime to create awareness among the spectators about the highly contagious infection that has claimed nearly 1.50 lakh lives in India so far.

"The seating capacity of Cinemas/ theatres/ Multiplexes shall be permitted to increase from existing 50 per cent to 100 per cent by following the Standard Operating Procedure issued already," the state government order read.

Posted By: Lakshay Raja