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Lockdown relaxations withdrawn in Mumbai

Mumbai:  Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Tuesday decided to withdraw the relaxations given from lockdown in Mumbai city, including the permission to reopen liquor shops, and declared only essential services will be available from Wednesday.

In an order issued in the night, the BMC said only groceries, medical stores and chemist shops will be allowed to remain open in the city.

The relaxations given by the Maharashtra government to run certain non-essential services and shops are withdrawn, it said.

In the order, the BMC expressed fear that allowing some non-essential services may lead to deterioration of the coronavirus situation in Mumbai.

Hence, the relaxations will have to be withdrawn for the city, the worst-hit by COVID-19 in Maharashtra, it said.

Gathering of crowds in large numbers without following social distancing norms will be detrimental to the control of spread of the virus, it said.

The BMC expressed fear that advantages of the lockdown will be lost due to gathering of people in large numbers.

From Monday, the Maharashtra government had allowed reopening of certain non-essential services, including wine shops, which pulled large crowds across the city.

Due to reopening of liquor shops, a large number of people had gathered outside such outlets without following social distancing norms, the civic body said.

The third phase of lockdown is in force till May 17.

The order said that Mumbai collectors (Mumbai Suburban and City) had permitted opening of wholesale and retail liquor shops from May 4.

The BMC said due to this permission huge crowds had gathered outside liquor shops, making maintenance of social distancing nearly impossible.

There were a few instances of law and order situation arising out of such crowds gathering at one place, the civic body said.

According to the order, Mumbai has been categorised as a red zone and multiple restrictions have been imposed to halt the spread of the deadly infection.

“I am convinced that the relaxation notification mentioned above is going to lead to deterioration of the (COVID-19) condition in Mumbai city.

“Hence, the relaxations will have to be withdrawn for the city,” said the order signed by municipal commissioner Praveen Pardeshi.

Pardeshi, in the order, directed all assistant commissioner of wards not to give permissions for opening of five shops of non-essential goods in each lane.

He also directed respective senior police inspectors to ensure compliance of the order.

The civic chief directed officials concerned to take strict action against violators under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.

The section deals with disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.

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