Curbs on travel in MMR, shop tim­ings

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - FRONT PAGE - Bhavika.Jain1@times­group.com

Mum­bai: The Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment on Mon­day an­nounced ex­ten­sion of the lock­down across the state till July 31. The no­ti­fi­ca­tion is­sued by the state gov­ern­ment has also re­stricted in­ter-district travel be­tween mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions within the Mum­bai Metropoli­tan Re­gion (MMR) to that for of­fice pur­poses and es­sen­tial ac­tiv­i­ties like med­i­cal rea­sons. The or­der comes a day af­ter Mum­bai po­lice re­stricted non-es­sen­tial travel be­yond 2km of one’s res­i­dence.

The no­ti­fi­ca­tion has also re­duced the tim­ings for non-es­sen­tial shops. Ear­lier, non-es­sen­tial shops could be kept open for their reg­u­lar tim­ings of 9am to 9pm, but as per the no­ti­fi­ca­tion is­sued by the gov­ern­ment on Mon­day, these have been re­stricted to 9am to 5pm.

Es­sen­tial shops like gro­ceries and chemists can re­main open as nor­mal. “Travel will be re­stricted for at­tend­ing places of work which are open and for bona fide hu­man­i­tar­ian re­quire­ments like med­i­cal rea­sons. And all non-es­sen­tial ac­tiv­i­ties like shop­ping and ex­er­cise will be re­stricted within the neigh­bour­hood area lim­its,” said the or­der signed by state chief sec­re­tary Ajoy Me­hta.

The Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment’s pre­vi­ous or­der of June 4 had stated that travel be­tween mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions in the Mum­bai Metropoli­tan Re­gion would be al­lowed with­out re­stric­tions and all shops could re­main open for their full work­ing hours.

State of­fi­cials said that this de­ci­sion had to be re­viewed as there were too many peo­ple on the streets un­nec­es­sar­ily, and un­re­stricted travel is also one of the rea­sons for the in­crease in cases in the Mum­bai Metropoli­tan Re­gion. Cases in satel­lite towns out­side the city have grown con­sid­er­ably. Most of these towns have in­ad­e­quate health in­fra­struc­ture and lim­ited test­ing lab­o­ra­to­ries. “Most of the re­lax­ations given by the state are to start the eco­nomic cy­cle again, but there were too many peo­ple crowd­ing on the streets. We have had in­stances of peo­ple tak­ing their fam­i­lies for an out­ing at Marine Drive or Worli seaface. It seemed that peo­ple had dropped their guard,” a se­nior of­fi­cial stated.

All the other re­lax­ations given under the state gov­ern­ment’s ‘Mis­sion Be­gin Again’ pol­icy, like pri­vate of­fices be­ing al­lowed to func­tion at 10% at­ten­dance, taxi, cabs and au­tos be­ing al­lowed to ply for es­sen­tial ser­vices and even out­door ac­tiv­i­ties like walk­ing and jog­ging be­ing per­mit­ted, con­tinue to be in place.

Ac­cord­ing to Mon­day’s or­der is­sued by the state gov­ern­ment, the pow­ers to re­strict move­ment or im­ple­ment a stricter lock­down have been del­e­gated to the lo­cal col­lec­tors and com­mis­sion­ers in case they find that cases are on the rise in a par­tic­u­lar area.

The state no­ti­fi­ca­tion also men­tions that ac­cord­ing to an or­der dated June 23, wed­dings with just 50 peo­ple and in non­air-con­di­tioned halls and in open-air venues would be al­lowed across the state.

Anil Shi­inde

From Sun­day, po­lice have been vig­or­ous in do­ing naka­ban­dis

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