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Maharashtra is anticipating easing of restrictions amid lockdown

Maharashtra, Mumbai, Transport, Check Point, Industries, Subhash Desai, Uddhav Thackeray, Uddhav, Thackeray, MIDC
Photo: Akshay Redij / Afternoon Voice

BMC reports stated that the 113 new Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases were added in the past 48 hours. The city also witnessed 3 deaths taking the city’s death rate to 116. Mumbai tops the state with 2043 cases – amounting to Maharashtra’s tally of 2919 cases and 187 deaths. BMC has set up 438 containment zones throughout Mumbai since the rise in the number of cases. With over 1 million people living in five square kilometre area, Dharavi is Mumbai’s most densely populated area and has been under severe scrutiny. As Dharavi’s case tally touches 89 with nine deaths, BMC has started screening all 7.5 lakh residents of Asia’s biggest slum. On March 14, the Thackeray government Maha Vikas Aghadi, invoked the Epidemic Diseases Act declaring the Coronavirus as an epidemic – declaring all gyms, swimming pools, malls, theatres, pubs shut in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur, Pimpri-Chinchwad till March 31 amid the rising cases of Coronavirus. The government also shut all educational institutions and postponed all exams, except the 10 & 12th board exams. With the railways shutting down its services on March 22 marking ‘Janta Curfew’, the Maharashtra government extended a state-wide curfew, stopping all transport services across districts. Uddhav Thackeray, also expressed the possibility for the government to lift the lockdown in certain places, lockdown in major areas like Mumbai will continue and on a stricter level. Maharashtra is contemplating easing of restrictions selectively in certain industrial areas with stringent safety conditions from Monday, April 20, Industry Minister Subhash Desai indicated here on Thursday.

Maharashtra industries minister Subhash Desai indicated that the state government may allow resumption of industrial activities from April 20 in the areas where no COVID-19 patient has been found so far. The most industrialized state has recorded the maximum number of coronavirus cases so far and the lockdown in force since March 25 to check the COVID-19 spread has brought most of the industrial and commercial units to a grinding halt. In an official statement, Desai said, “In the areas where no COVID-19 cases have been found, the industrial activities are likely to resume from April 20 onwards.”

“We will give the permissions within the framework set by the Union government,” he said. Desai made the announcement after holding a special meeting with a group of senior bureaucrats from the industries and health department. The Shiv Sena minister said agriculture will remain a focused area for the government. “Within the plan of resuming industrial activities, our priority would be to agriculture-allied industries.
Farmers need support in a such situation as well, he said.”

The Centre on Wednesday permitted states to undertake some activities that would set the wheels of economy moving. A review meeting in this regard was held today along with the stakeholders, Desai said. Industries wanting to start operations will have to take certain measures like in-house accommodation for workers, he said.

“If an industry can arrange accommodation for its workers within its premises, it will be given priority by the state to resume work. This measure will ensure no infection from outside comes to the industrial unit,” said the minister. Some factories can even arrange transportation for their employees. If small and medium scale companies in the MIDC areas come together, some accommodation for workers can be provided and these units can resume production and processing, he said.


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