Set to reintroduce strict lockdown norms from July 14, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) have decided to restrict any free movement of people in the city without valid reason while keeping all commercial establishments closed for the first five days in the 10-day lockdown to check the spread of Covid-19. However, both civic bodies have allowed industries, the IT sector and government offices to operate with conditions but stopped operations of private offices.
In an order, the new Pune Municipal Commissioner, Vikram Kumar, said that the coronavirus infection in the city is spreading very fast and the state government has empowered the civic administration to take all possible steps to stop it.
Among the things that would be allowed during the period till July 23 includes the sale of milk and its home delivery, medical services and medical shops. Also, all the courts, state government, Union government and civic body offices would be functional with 10 per cent staff and would not require any specific pass for the purpose.
The distribution of newspapers would be allowed from 6 am to 9 am and media offices would be allowed to work as per the restrictions in staff strength. All the nationalised bank and those approved by RBI would operate with minimum staff strength while online banking and ATM service would continue as usual. The home delivery of medicines would be allowed with police permission.
Petrol pumps would operate from 9 am to 2 pm and would supply fuel only to vehicles of government, emergency and essential services. The home delivery of LPG would continue. The transport service for industries and essential services in local, inter-district and inter-state would be allowed.
All citizens permitted to commute for their professional services would be allowed to do so in their own vehicles and have to carry the office identity card, Aadhaar card and driving licence.
The pharmaceutical, food industry and those into export would continue to operate and the permission issued by the MIDC in the past should be considered applicable for the purpose.
All the mega infrastructure project works would be allowed with the permission of the civic bodies. Construction activities would be allowed if in situ facility for workers is there.
The staff of various permitted industries would be allowed to commute to their workplace and would have to carry their identity card. Also, the staff will have to carry out Covid-19 test at their own expense if any staff is found positive for the viral infection and the production unit would be closed till that time.
The IT sector would be allowed to function with 15 per cent staff strength. The attendant for senior or ailing citizens would be allowed to work.
The PMC and PCMC clarified that all essential commodity shops, including grocery and vegetables, would be closed from July 14 to 18 and thereafter from 8 am to 12 noon till July 23 while all other non-essential commodity shops would be closed for entire 10 days. The online e-commerce service would be banned till July 18 and can be restarted thereafter.
The online food delivery service, restaurant services and salons would be closed while there would be ban on morning and evening walk by citizens in any open places. The weddings for which permission has already been taken would be allowed with only attendance of less than 20 persons for the function.
As per the earlier orders, citizens above 65 years of age, comorbid patients, pregnant women and children below 10 years have been completely restricted to move out of their houses unless there is a medical emergency.
Industrial units have been allowed to operate during the lockdown in the Pimpri-Chinchwad-Bhosari industrial area. However, employees have been barred from using two-wheelers to commute to their workplaces, said municipal commissioner Shravan Hardikar on Sunday.
Hardikar said industrial employees will have to use car or special company vehicles to commute. Sandeep Belsare, president of Pimpri-Chinchwad Small Scale Industries Forum, said they were opposed to four-wheelers and company buses ferrying employees. “Of the over 10,000 industrial units in Pimpri-Chinchwad and surrounding industrial estates, less than 100 units can afford special bus service for employees. Therefore, PCMC should allow employees to come by their own two-wheelers or bicycles,” he said.
The PCMC chief, however, said, “We cannot allow three lakh two-wheelers which will lead to the spread of the virus. Lockdown will lose its meaning and purpose then…”
District Collector Naval Kishore Ram said, “We have to be considerate about the poor workers and SSIs. I will talk to PCMC commissioner and some way can be found out. PMPML buses can be certainly one of the options.” The PCMC chief said PMPML buses will be provided for workers to reach their work place. “There will be strict lockdown for first five days and then there be some relaxations for next five days,” Hardikar.
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