After the Union Home Ministry on Friday evening issued orders extending the lockdown till May 17, while also granting some relaxations in ‘red zones’ such as Pune city and Pimpri-Chinchwad, civic and district collectorate officials were busy trying to make sense of the norms of prohibition and relaxations that had been included in the directives.
Officials said they will wait for the Maharashtra government to issue a GR in this connection by Saturday.
When contacted, District Collector Naval Kishore Ram said, “As per my reading of the order, most of the prohibitions in ‘red zones’ will continue. But we will wait for the state government to issue suitable orders in this connection. Once we get the directives from the state government, we will implement them”.
Collectorate officials said the MHA guidelines have directed that districts will be classified into two zones, one zone for the area within jurisdictions of municipal corporations and another for the area beyond their jurisdiction. “The guidelines state that if the area outside the jurisdiction of civic bodies has reported no case for the last 21 days, it will be allowed to be classified as one stage lower than the overall classification of the district as either red or orange. Hence, this area will be classified as orange, in case the district is overall red; or as green, in case the district is overall orange… We will discuss all this guidelines and accordingly convey to the state government, which will take a final decision in this regard,” said Ram.
Pimpri-Chinchwad Additional Municipal Commissioner Santosh Patil said, “I think some relaxations have been given even in ‘red zones’, besides several in orange and green zones. We will wait for the state government to guide us … we expect the orders to come on Saturday.’
Collectorate officials said liquor shops in red zones will remain closed. “Marriages are likely be permitted with 50 people and funerals with 20 people. But final orders will be issued in a day or two in this connection,” said an official.
Meanwhile, the Railways said two ‘Shramik special’ trains, to ferry migrant labourers to their home states, are being run from Nashik on Friday night. “Two Shramik special trains are being run from Friday night. One will go to Lucknow and another to Bhopal from Nashik,” said Railway spokesperson Manoj Jhanwar.
The Central Railways said there was no plan as yet to run any special trains from Pune. “Only cargo and parcel trains are being run from Pune, we have no orders for running Shramik special trains. No passenger or express train will run till May 17,” said Jhnawar.
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