No vehicular traffic was on Santacruz western express highway. after Janta curfew commenced.
No vehicular traffic was on Santacruz western express highway. after Janta curfew commenced.
Photo by BL Soni

The Department of Telecommunication has requested the Maharashtra government for National Long Distance (NLD) and Internet Service Provider Licenses so that their staff and field engineers, and their vehicles can move freely around d the country to access their telecom installations such as optical fibre cables, telecom equipment, and NOCs.

The DoT has made the request in a letter addressed to all authorities in the state ranging from state officials, municipal commissioners, and police officials.

If the state government gives the go-ahead, then it it will be a big relief to millions of internet users in the state, who have been worried about the speed of internet access.

The DoT has issued the services to Tata Communications, Sify, SingTel Global India, Tikona, NTT, and AT&T in India.

Earlier on Monday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced a statewide curfew with immediate effect till March 31.

All state borders have been sealed other than for movement of essential and perishable commodities. "Today I am compelled to announce a state-wide curfew. People were not listening, and we are compelled," said the chief minister in his social media address.

All public transport services, including inter city buses of the MSRTC and Metro, will not be permitted; taxis with not more than two persons besides the driver, auto rickshaws with not more than one passenger besides the driver are permitted.

Further, all shops, including commercial establishments, offices and factories, workshops & godowns would shut their operations. However, production and manufacturing units which require continuous process and pharmaceuticals will be permitted. Manufacturing units engaged in production of essential commodities have been allowed to operate.

Government offices will function with 5% staff and similar instructions have been given to shops and establishments to operate with minimal staff; they will also ensure social distancing such as painting of foot marks at distances of 3 feet from each other near checkout counters. Thackeray said these steps should be preventive measures by citizens.

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