Updated: June 5, 2021 8:23:35 am
In a move that will bring some relief for residents of Pune and Khadki cantonments, the district administration has decided to extend the relaxations granted within Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) limits to the two cantonment areas as well. This means that non-essential shops will be allowed to open and all shops will be able to remain open from 11 am to 2 pm.
These relaxations, however, have been denied to Dehu Road Cantonment Board as it has a comparatively higher positivity rate, and it also borders rural areas that have higher infections than city areas.
After the state government announced new classifications for separating large municipal corporations from rural districts in granting relaxations from the ‘limited lockdown’, residents of the three cantonment boards in the district – Khadki, Dehu and Pune – were unhappy as they are traditionally classified outside the corporation limits. Several traders’ unions from the cantonment boards had demanded an extension of shop timings and permission to open non-essential shops, pointing to the low positivity rates.
Khadki Cantonment Board has a Covid positivity rate of 3.94 per cent, Pune Cantonment Board has a 5.5 per cent positivity rate while Dehu Cantonment Board has the highest positivity rate among the three, at 7 per cent.
On Friday, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said that after discussing the issue in the Covid review meeting, it has been decided that relaxations applicable in PMC limits will be extended to Pune and Khadki Cantonment Boards.
“The residents of Khadki and Pune cantonments were unhappy because despite low positivity rates, they were not getting the relaxations. Hence, we have decided that rules that apply to PMC will be extended to Khadki and Pune cantonments. Dehu Cantonment, however, is closer to rural areas and it also has a comparatively higher positivity rate. So, at the moment, we are not extending the relaxations there,” said Pawar.
The Pune district guardian minister also said that owners of hair salons and beauty parlours are also demanding permission to open their shops as the government has allowed other non-essential shops to open. “We will take a decision about this on Monday after holding further deliberations,” said Pawar.
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