Orion Mall in Panvel
Orion Mall in Panvel

While malls and shopping complexes reopened under the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) areas on Wednesday, wait under the Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) lingered for a day due to delay in taking a decision by the civic body. The PMC issued a revised a circular late on Tuesday night allowing malls to reopen from Wednesday.

Since the decision came late, malls under the Panvel area remained closed on Wednesday.

However, a well-known mall in Panvel had decided to reopen the mall by the hands of a senior corona warrior on Thursday with much fanfare. The malls are allowed to open from 9 am to 7 pm.

In Panvel area, malls were closed since March 23 and they were not allowed to reopen under the unlock 3 in August first week.

The NMMC had allowed reopening malls on August 6 but rolled back its decision due to a huge crowd outside the mall. An order was issued on August 6 night and put on hold on its earlier decision that allowed the opening malls and shopping complexes in the city under the Unlock 3.

Ironically, shopping malls that were closed for around four and half months due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country, opened for only 10 hours on August 6. Because of the incessant rains, there were very few visitors at the mall.

According to civic administration, people from outside of NMMC’s jurisdiction travelled to malls. “Since malls opened only in our area, it was observed that many people were travelling from outside our limits as well to the mall. There would have been an unreasonable crowd than expected. So, the decision to open malls and shopping complexes has been put on hold,” a senior civic official had said then.

Under Unlock 3, the state government allowed the opening of shopping complexes and malls, except foot court inside the malls.

At present, the number of active cases under the NMMC area is around 3486 and 1383. While the recovery rate under the PMC has crossed 86%, the NMMC has around 85% recovery rate. A month back, the NMMC has around 4000 active cases and the recovery rate was around 75%. “The the situation has improved a lot and people with all precautions can go outside,” said a senior civic official.

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Free Press Journal