Despite the complete lockdown in the city in an effort to contain the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the continued movement of vehicles has forced Pune district administration to order a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel to private vehicles. Fuel will still be sold to vehicles on emergency duty.
District Collector Naval Kishore Ram on Tuesday announced that he has barred petrol pumps across the district from selling fuel to private vehicles. Private vehicles of staff involved in emergency services to fight COVID-19, employees of private organisations involved in tackling the spread of the disease, those involved in providing essential commodities and those commuting for medical assistance would be exempted from the order.
All those who have been exempted from the ban will have to fill their fuel tanks to full capacity, stated a directive by Ram.
Even though city police had banned the movement of vehicles in Pune on Monday, a large number of private vehicles were still seen entering and leaving the city. The state government later declared a curfew across the state to stop movement of vehicles and public, and kept only stores related to essential services – including grocery, vegetable, milk and medicines — open.
On Tuesday, the rush in Pune’s market yard and vegetable market raised further alarm, as local residents were seen travelling to these markets to purchase vegetables and groceries.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar also urged people to not crowd stores selling essential commodities. “Only one person of a family should leave to purchase essential commodities. Local residents should not crowd the stores as shops will continue to open every day and there will not be any shortage of essential commodities,” he said in a video appeal.
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