THE PMC has decided to seal sports complexes functioning despite an order to stay shut in an effort to check the spread of Covid-19.
“The in-charge of ward offices have been directed to visit various sports complexes in their areas and seal those operating despite orders to keep them shut. Also, legal action should be immediately initiated against those sports complexes,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Kunal Khemnar.
The sports complexes mainly include badminton halls, swimming pools, gymnasiums, and other indoor sports venues.
Khemnar said all sports complexes, private as well as PMC-owned but run by private contractors, in the city were asked to shut down as per an order under the Epidemic Act and the Disaster Management Act.
He said there were, however, complaints that some badminton halls, swimming pools, gymnasia and sports centres were open despite restrictions.
The state government had issued a notification on March 13, when it imposed the Epidemic Act, to check the spread of Covid-19 and, accordingly, the municipal corporation undertook measures at its own level, Khemnar said.
He also said the PMC had shut public places such as gardens and sports complexes, as per guidelines from central and state government.
He added that the municipal commissioner had also issued orders banning rallies, events or gatherings for any function, including social, religious, political, sports, entertainment, cultural or educational purposes.
According to civic officials, there are reports of sports complexes functioning in violation of orders to remain shut. There was a demand to open sports complexes, particularly gymnasia, across the city but the PMC had not granted permission for the same, the officials said.
Meanwhile, BJP MLA Siddharth Shirole from Shivajinagar in Pune has taken up the demand of gyms and fitness centres to restart operations.
“My heart goes out to owners, operators, trainers and patrons of gyms and fitness centres who don’t have permission to reopen. I reiterate, I see no point in denying permission to one of the most hygienic and health-aware industries when other businesses are open now,” Shirole said, while thanking the state government for listening to the demand of thousands and allowing dine-in service at restaurants, bars and food courts at 50 per cent capacity.
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