Pune traders on Tuesday staged a protest against the state government decision of not allowing an extended time for shop opening in the district.
They have demanding extended time for shop opening and have threatened to forcefully keep the shops open if the government does not take a decision.
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The Maharashtra government on Monday announced further relaxations of coronavirus curbs in 25 districts showing a low positivity rate of the infection, extending the existing business timings of shops and allowing shopping malls to operate in these districts.
However, shops and restaurants in the remaining 11 districts (out of a total 36), where the coronavirus caseload is high, will continue to operate under existing restrictions. As per the existing rules, shops and restaurants in these districts are allowed to operate till 4 pm on weekdays. But they have to remain shut on weekends.
These districts are Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Pune, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Solapur, Ahmednagar, Beed, Raigad and Palghar.
Pune traders have been demanding the easing of curbs for the last few days, as teh government excluded the district from the new rules, they staged a protest today.
Meanwhile, Pune Member of Legislative Assembly Maharashtra from Shivajinagar Constituency Siddharth Shirole and Pune mayor Murlidhar Mohol have supported the demands made by traders and asked for easing the curbs in the city
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters in Sangli, some 230 kilometres from Pune, CM Uddhav Thackeray sought cooperation from people in areas where relaxing the norms was not possible currently due to the caseload.
Thackeray said the pandemic situation in the 11 districts with not so encouraging COVID-19 indicators was a cause of worry.
"I have asked district collectors to increase the number of tests as well as doctors to ensure people are protected for COVID-19 as well as water-borne diseases," he said.
Speaking on the issue of medical oxygen, the CM said as per an estimate, the amount of medical oxygen required in a possible third wave might be double of what was needed in the second wave, when Maharashtra had to procure it from other states.
He appealed to the private sector to split office timings to reduce attendance in their premises at any one point of time, as well as opt for work from home and work in office turn by turn.
(With inputs from PTI)
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