Updated: June 2, 2021 11:20:43 am
With no relaxation in lockdown restrictions in rural parts of Pune district, the administration is going to have a tough time managing movement in the suburbs where residents from adjoining villages are likely to visit due to relaxation in restrictions.
The PMC and PCMC, after being declared separate entities, have relaxed lockdown restrictions considering that daily positivity rate has dropped below 10 per cent in their jurisdictions, as per government directives. Accordingly, all essential and non-essential standalone shops will be open from 7 am to 2 pm in these two area jurisdictions, while non-essential shops will be closed on weekends.
The remaining part of the district including rural area, municipal council area, and area under the three cantonment boards continue to be under the control of the district administration for Covid-19 management.
“Positivity rate in rural parts of the district is at 13 per cent and is slowly coming down. However, the government is allowed to relax restrictions only if positivity rate falls below 10 per cent. Thus, lockdown restrictions will continue in the district, except PMC and PCMC, till next week,” said district collector Rajesh Deshmukh recently.
Restrictions include complete closure of non-essential shops and allowing essential shops to open from 7 am to 11 am, which too will be closed on weekends. The public in rural areas are not allowed to move without a valid reason after 11 am as against the new timing of 3 pm in PMC and PCMC areas.
Villages sharing boundaries with PMC and PCMC have high density populations with most residents dependent on the urban area for their livelihood. “We are aware that relaxation in restrictions in urban areas would lead to an influx of residents from adjoining villages. Police will be asked to set up a check post on entry points to the city to check movement of residents to and from the city area,” said an officer from the district administration.
The officer said residents of rural areas will face action if they were found to be moving around after 11 am, adding that residents of these areas will have to return to their homes before 11 am even if they visit urban areas.
Many employees of essential and non-essential shops are residents of adjoining villages. Also, godowns of most shops are outside the civic jurisdiction. “The decision to allow all shops to open in urban areas is a welcome step. However, shops will not be able to operate with full capacity due to staff facing problems in free movement. We hope the situation in rural areas improves and restrictions are removed, which would help us operate shops in a normal way,” said Ramesh Joshi, a trader from Warje.
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