More than three-fourth of their strength will be deployed on the ground to enforce the lockdown in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad as well as its surrounding areas, said police officials from both the jurisdictions.
Aiming to break the chain of the coronavirus spread, Pune district administration on Friday announced a 10-day lockdown in the municipal corporations of Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, and surrounding rural areas, starting from July 14 to July 23. While specific rules of the lockdown are yet to be published in the form of official order by the civic bodies, a series of meetings between civic, administration, and police officials have been held over the weekend to discuss the details of the lockdown and its enforcement.
The lockdown is going to be imposed in the jurisdictions of PMC, PCMC, Pune Police Commissionerate, Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissionerate, Cantonment Boards of Pune, Khadki, and Dehu Road, and close to two dozen villages with high number of Covid-19 cases. Officials have announced that for the first five days, stricter lockdown will be imposed when only milk vends, pharmacies, and hospitals will be allowed to operate. For the next five days, the situation will be reviewed and sale of some essential items will be allowed.
Pune city’s Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Ravindra Shisve said, “We have held meetings with civic and district administration officials. Along with the details of lockdown, discussions were also held on how to enforce the restrictions. While there continues to be deployment in containment zones even during the unlocking phase, the 10-day lockdown will see deployment of over 75 per cent of our total strength on the ground. The deployment will focus on movement restriction through checkpoints and enforcement of distancing norms by mobile teams. First couple of days will be challenging for us as people will get accustomed to the lockdown. Our force will have to be more cautious now with an alarming rate of prevalence of infection. Personnel are being thoroughly briefed on safety norms and are being provided with necessary safety gear and utilities.”
Police officials said their units, which have been coordinating issuance of passes to people for emergency transit, will receive more requests during this lockdown and were prepared for the increased load.
Pune Police has close to 9,000 personnel, and considering the rising number of cases in the force, standard operating procedures have been put in place for routine policing duties, including steps to be taken after personnel go home. Close to 250 cops from Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad have tested positive for the novel coronavirus so far.
Additional Commissioner of Police, Pimpri-Chinchwad Police, Ramnath Pokale said, “Across our jurisdiction, over 80 checkpoints will be set up to curb non-essential movement. Mobile teams from police stations and joint teams of police and PCMC will ensure enforcement of the lockdown. The deployment of strength on the ground will be akin to that of the first lockdown. More than three-fourth of the total strength will be on the ground for this purpose.”
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