Mumbai: Deputy CM Ajit Pawar on Tuesday warned the government will be compelled to take harsher steps if citizens continue to breach prohibitory orders.
He expressed displeasure over people flouting the lockdown order and prohibition of assembly of five despite govt’s repeated appeal. Though the government has closed interstate and district borders, people are still seen travelling.
Pawar’s warning comes at a time when the threat of local and community transmission of coronavirus infection looms large. Some of the extreme steps may include complete stoppage of vehicular movements except emergency and essential services, suspension of sale of auto fuel, distribution and sale of essential goods in a given time period and punitive action against those engaged in hoarding, speculation, blackmarketing of essential goods, masks and sanitizers.
A few minutes after the Pune dist administration restricted the movement of people and ordered the suspension of sale of petrol and diesel, all vehicles except those on essential services, people working for eradication of corona, those working for essential services and commodities, and people requiring medical services.T
he Nashik district collector has introduced rationing of petrol and diesel sale whereby two wheeler owners will get petrol worth only Rs 100 per day and four wheelers will get up to Rs 1,000 per day.
Pawar, after reviewing the state widecurfew situation with senior bureaucrats, told FPJ, "People should not break the law and breach the curfew and prohibitory orders.
The government has given complete freedom and powers to the police department for the implementation of curfew and also the closure of state and district borders.
People should not congregate in larger numbers to purchase vegetables, milk, food grains and other essential goods as there is no curb on their supply.’’
He reiterated that the government is making all efforts to combat the coronavirus infection but it will be forced to take extreme steps if people do not comply with orders.
A senior bureaucrat shared Pawar’s view saying that the government may force those non-complying citizens to swallow the bitter medicine and thereby send a strong signal to others.
Meanwhile, the government has set up a special corona control room in Mantralaya by giving specific work to various bureaucrats to coordinate the implementation of measures taken.
Former managing director of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ashwini Bhide has been tasked with the planning of transport arrangement in Mumbai Metropolitan Region and roping in taxies, ola, uber and school buses for essential services.
Bhushan Gagrani, former principal secretary in Chief Minister’s Office, will remain in touch with IT and ITES companies to understand their grievances and keep them informed about government decisions.