Members of the Mira Bhayandar Decorators and Caterers Welfare Foundation led by Jagdev Mhatre have launched an agitation seeking relaxation in norms on gathering of people.
The members of the organisations which represent more than 300 establishments including mandap decorators and caterers in the twin-city, registered their protest by launching a sit-in agitation outside the municipal stadium in Bhayandar (west).
The agitation followed after the state government and the officials from the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) failed to give a positive response to their repeated pleas for the past several weeks.
Currently, the civic administration allows a maximum of 50 people in any type of event, while ensuring strict adherence to social distancing norms and other related restrictions which are in place to contain the deadly Covid-19 outbreak. Violators face police action in accordance with the notification issued by the state government under Disaster Management Act 2005.
Shiv Sena legislator Pratap Sarnaik has also come out in support of the decorators. In his letter to the chief minister, Sarnaik has sought augmentation of the existing upper limit of 50 to at least 200 guests, so that the ailing industry can slowly recover from their huge losses and manpower is generated for those who have lost employment due to a ceiling in the number of guests which translates into low key celebrations with hardly any work-scope due to the truncated arrangements.
Apart from thousands of people who are attached to the decorator and catering industry, several other small time business owners including- flower sellers, balloon decorators, event managers, orchestra troupes and equipment (sound and light) providers have been rendered jobless for the past eight months since the lockdown was imposed in March-2020.
Hoping for relaxation in rules for the upcoming wedding season, which commences after Diwali, the agitating members have also warned the authorities of amplifying their protest if their demands were not met.