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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Pimpri-Chinchwad: Move to bar industrial workers from using PMPML buses draws fire

Other restrictions include ban on gathering of five or more persons between 6 am and 6 pm, while gyms, salons and spas will be shut till April 9, starting Saturday

Written by MANOJ MORE | Pune |
April 3, 2021 1:27:37 am
PMPML newsThe decision to bar industrial employees from travelling on PMPML buses has drawn fire from stakeholders(Express Photo)

AFTER PCMC Commissioner Rajesh Patil issued a slew of restrictions on Friday evening following a district review on the Covid-19 situation in the morning, the decision to bar industrial employees from travelling on PMPML buses has drawn fire from stakeholders. According to the order, bus services will remain shut for a week for commuters other than essential workers. “Industrial units will have to make their own travel arrangements for employees,” the order stated.

Other restrictions include ban on gathering of five or more persons between 6 am and 6 pm, while gyms, salons and spas will be shut till April 9, starting Saturday. The district collector said the administration will review the decision. Patil said, “Industrial units in Pimpri-Chinchwad, Bhosari and other areas can function as usual. Offices, however, have been asked to function on 50 per cent capacity,” adding, “vehicles used to carry employees can also ply as usual.”

Abhay Bhor, president of Forum of Small Scale Industries Association, said, “The decision to shut down PMPML services for a week will hit nearly four lakh employees working in Pimpri-Chinchwad-Bhosari industrial belt as well as neighbouring areas. Nearly 70,000 poor women work in these units, and 50 per cent employees come from Pune city. How will they come without bus service? Many are small units that don’t have their own vehicles. Many workers use two-wheelers and cycles, but women have no option but to travel by bus. The decision should be revoked.”

Responding to this, the civic chief said he would talk to the district collector about it. When contacted, District Collector Rajesh Deshmukh said he would discuss the issue with Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao.
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“Gyms will remain completely shut. So will salons and beauty parlours. However, sport activities like training and exercise on open grounds will be allowed,” the civic chief told The Indian Express. Single-screen theatres, multiplexes and auditoriums will also remain shut. Swimming pools, now shut for over a year, will continue to remain closed.

Patil said hotels, restaurants, bars and food courts will remain shut, but home delivery will be allowed. “Shopping malls will also remain shut, but those selling groceries, vegetables and fruits will be allowed to operate,” he said.

The order further stated that between 6 am and 6 pm, five people cannot gather at one spot. “If five or more people are found together, each will be fined Rs 1,000,” the order stated.

Except for essential services like milk and vegetable supply, the order also stated that people should not unnecessarily venture out of their homes between 6 pm and 6 am. “However, those going for vaccination will be allowed,” the order stated.

All social, religious and political events besides inaugurations and bhoomipoojan functions will remain banned. “Weddings will have to take place with 50 attendees while funerals and other rituals cannot have more than 20 in attendance,” the order stated.

Weekly markets will remain shut while vegetable markets in different places like Pimpri, Bhosari, Dapodi, Chinchwad and other suburbs will remain open, the order stated.

All schools, colleges and educational institutes will remain shut till April 30. All coaching classes except MPSC and UPSC classes have also been shut. All public gardens in the industrial city will remain shut along with clubhouses in residential societies.

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