Two days after the State government permitted theatres to operate with 100% occupancy, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday warned the AIADMK government not to dilute the COVID-19 guidelines.
The Centre asked the State to follow rules prescribed by the Centre in connection with the reopening of cinema theatres which restricted occupancy rate to just 50% vide order dated Nov 25, 2020 and this was extended until January 31, 2021.
The Centre has also sought TN to immediately issue necessary orders to bring the state in compliance with the Centre’s guidelines and inform the same to the Union Ministry.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, in an official communique to the Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary K Shanmugham, stated, “The Government of TN vide their notification GO (MS) No. 001 dated 04.01.2021 has permitted to increase the seating capacity of cinemas/theatres/multiplexes from existing 50% capacity to 100% by following Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
This amounts to dilution of MHA order dated 28 December 2020 issued under DM Act 2005.’ The letter also pointed out that the Supreme Court in a suo motu writ petition passed necessary orders for all states to strictly adhere to the SOPs issued by the Centre.
Following this, release of Pongal films like Vijay’s Master and Simbu’s Eeswaran is in trouble.