Hours after the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation decided to close down all shops except those selling milk and medicines on Wednesday evening, Bopal-Ghuma municipality, a suburb of Ahmedabad, followed suit by enforcing a similar complete lockdown till May 17, to prevent a possible influx of people from the corporation-controlled areas of the AMC.
“Now that the Ahmedabad city is closed, people from corporation areas might come to the municipality. The infection can spread through vegetable vendors and if we do not close, there will be a lot of rush into the municipality from the corporation areas. There are multiple roads that connect this area with the city. So this decision had to be taken to prevent further spread of COVID-19,” said Jigisha Shah, President of Bopal-Ghuma municipality.
While AMC has implemented a stricter lockdown from May 7-15, the Bopal-Ghuma municipality has imposed it from May 7-17 and has allowed milk parlours to operate from 7-11 am and medical shops throughout the day. When asked about the decision to keep all shops closed till May 17, Shah said, “When the AMC areas open (on May 16), we do not want any old vegetable stock to come in to our area. The two extra days gives us a buffer time and will help only fresh vegetable stocks to enter our area.”
Despite the notification from the municipality, a number of shops remained opened on Thursday morning and queues were seen at roadside vegetable vendors.
When asked about it, Shah said, “This notification was issued at late night yesterday after the AMC’s notification. So I need to give some time to the people in Bopal and Ghuma areas to make urgent purchases before the entire place closes down for 10 days.”
The Bopal-Ghuma municipality has so far seen about 15-odd positive cases of which most of them are in north Bopal area. The municipality had also closed down Star bazaar after one of the employees who was doing part-time job in a hospital tested positive for COVID-19.
The municipality was among the first to ban the entry of online food delivery agents.
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