From Monday, liquor shops, electronic stores, mobile phone stores and stationary shops will be allowed to reopen in Mumbai and Pune, the Maharashtra government announced Sunday. The state has, however, capped the total number of “non-essential” and “standalone” shops that can reopen on any lane or street or road to a maximum of five, and such reopening is only for shops outside the containment zones of these metropolitan areas.
“All standalone (single) shops, neighbourhood (colony) shops and shops in residential complexes, without any distinction of essential and non-essential, are permitted to remain open in urban areas excluding containment zones,” the new order released by the state government said. Meanwhile, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Sunday declared 69 ‘micro containment zones’, which have maximum number of COVID-19 cases and have been completely sealed from Sunday midnight till May 17 while the remaining areas have been given relaxation.
In an order, municipal commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad said, “The entire PMC area was declared containment zone and restrictions on public movement were put across the city. Now, it has been noticed that the maximum infection is concentrated in certain pockets so it is necessary to identify ‘micro containment zones’ and implement the restrictions of containment zone only in these areas. A total of 69 such zones have been identified.”
The containment zones as defined by the police are under 23 police stations in Pune city.
The areas under micro containment zones are: Complete jurisdictions of Samarth, Khadak, Faraskhana police station and part jurisdictions of following police stations: Shivajinagar, Swargate, Lashkar, Bundgarden, Sahakarnagar, Bharti Vidyapeeth, Dattawadi, Kothrud, Sinhagad Road, Yerawada, Khadki, Vishrantwadi, Chandannagar, Vimantal, Kondhwa, Wanawadi, Mundhwa, Hadapsar, Bibwewadi and Market Yard. These are densely populated slum area.
The PMC urged the city police to seal these micro containment zones till May 17 with no one to enter or exit the designated area. The city police has decided to continue shops of essential commodities in these area from 10 am to 2 pm. In areas outside micro containment zone, the amended directives issued by the state government would be applicable that paves the way for opening standalone shops selling non-essential goods under the jurisdiction of the civic bodies of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. According to the new directives, five shops selling non-essential goods per lane or road can remain open from May 4 between 10 am and 6 pm excluding areas that have been demarcated as ‘micro containment zones’.
The relief, however, is applicable only to residential areas. All non-essential shops at marketplaces will remain closed and so will all the malls. Shops located in markets and marketplaces selling essential goods will be allowed to function. Following the notification issued by the Pune Municipal Corporation, Joint Police Commissioner Ravindra Shisve issued the specific order about the specifics of the lockdown in the areas outside the specified containment areas. The shops selling essential items and those other five shops will be allowed to be open from 10 am to 6 pm. Home delivery of milk only allowed between 7 am to 10 am. People commuting on the road for any reason will be allowed to commute only between 7 am to 7 pm. People above 65, pregnant women, children under 10 years and people with serious health condition advised to stay home.
In line with the state government’s guidelines, the state excise department has issued a notification allowing the retail liquor shops to remain open from 10 am to 6 pm in MMR and municipal corporations of Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Malegaon but wholesale liquor shops will remain open only till 5 pm.
It has also prohibited the drinking of liquor in the liquor shops and said that there should no more than five consumers in front of the shops at a time. “The shop owners must do the thermal scanning of all workers and consumers. If anyone has any symptoms of cold, cough and fever, then the person should not be given entry into the shop,” said the notification. “The shop and surrounding area has to be sanitized after every two hours.”
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