As it moves towards reopening Mumbai and its economy, the Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra on Thursday offered more relaxations to facilitate the movement of people within Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), the epicentre of Covid-19 pandemic in India.
Under its ‘Mission Begin Again’ guidelines, the government also permitted free inter-district movement of people within MMR – a day before markets and shops in the state, with the exception of malls and market complexes, start functioning on alternate days.
The first phase of exit from the lockdown — permitting people to leave their homes for exercise in their neighbourhoods, and resumption of self-employment trades such as plumbing, pest control, electrical works and garages — was to begin on Wednesday but was put off due to Cyclone Nisarga. It will now kick-off on Friday simultaneously with Phase 2, in which markets and shops will also reopen.
With suburban rail services yet to be restored, trade associations had lobbied for allowing inter-district road travel to facilitate the reopenings. “Inter-district movement of persons within the area of municipal corporations in MMR shall be allowed without any restrictions,” stated Thursday’s order signed by Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta.
The Federation of Associations of Maharashtra, a representative body of 781 trade associations, also demanded the resumption of public bus transport.
The government has finally permitted home delivery of newspapers from June 7. The government has also clarified that in non-red zones, offices and staff of educational institutes can continue to operate for non-teaching purposes.
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