Due to the crowding by people at various places despite the existing Covid-19 restrictions, the Maharashtra government Tuesday issued a new order restricting the timings of the essential shops dealing with grocery, vegetable, dairies and others to four hours— from 7 am to 11 am—with immediate effect.
However, the government has allowed home delivery from these shops between 7 am to 8 pm.
The new order issued by Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte said that all groceries, vegetable shops, fruit vendors, dairies, bakeries, confectionaries, all types of food shops (including chicken, mutton, poultry, fish and eggs), shops related to agricultural implements and farm produce, pet food shops, shops related to materials for impending rainy season for individuals as well as for organisations will be open only between 7 am to 11 am.
“Home delivery from the said shops however may be allowed between 7 am to 8 pm. These timings however may be changed by the local authority,” said the order. It further said that that the local authorities may include any additional entities/services as essential only after the consent of the State Disaster Management Authority.
The order comes a day after the decision about limiting the timings of the grocery shops to four hours was taken in a meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on the Covid situation in the state.
Officials said that the timings are being restricted as people are taking advantage of the existing timings for the essential shops. “It is not helping the cause to break the chain of coronavirus. It was observed that the people were stepping out of their homes multiple times in a day citing various reasons such as groceries, vegetables or milk dairies,” said an official.
The official further said that some districts had already restricted the timings of the shops due to the local Covid situation. “But, it was creating confusion among the people in general as these restrictions were in some districts and not all. So, the state level order will not create any confusion,” added the official.
Meanwhile, Vijay Wadettiwar, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister, on Monday had said that the government is also studying the six days of complete lockdown imposed by the Delhi government to take a decision on the complete lockdown in Maharashtra. “Delhi has imposed a strict lockdown. The instructions have been given to the administration to gather information about it. We want to study the nature of Delhi’s lockdown, the restrictions on metro trains and on the essentials services. Based on that, the government will make an announcement,” he had said.