Maharashtra: No ban on sale of fish, meat & fruits; hotels allowed to operate for home deliveries amid coronavirus lockdown

Mumbai: In a move offering some relief during the present lockdown, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar announced that hotels across the state will be allowed to operate their kitchens and provide home delivery. He further clarified that there is no ban on the sale of eggs, meat, fish and fruits. However, the sale has to be done by adhering to safety norms.Pawar’s announcement comes a day after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray declared that essential commodity shops and chemists can remain open for 24 hours in a bid to avoid congregation of consumers. "Consumers can purchase mangoes from Konkan, grapes from Nashik, oranges from Nagpur, and other fruits such as banana and watermelon, as there is no ban on their sale. However, the shopkeeper has to maintain cleanliness and comply with the safety norms,’’ said Pawar. He further made it clear that the suppliers of milk, vegetables and fruits will not face problems in refuelling their trucks as per the instructions given to the district administration.

Pawar said that farmers will be allowed to transport sugarcane to the factories for crushing. "However, sugar factories will have to provide meals to the sugarcane cutting labourers,’’ he noted.He further clarified that government has not stopped the implementation of crop loan waiver. However, farmers are not coming forward for biometrics.BMC to issue passesMeanwhile, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi said the civic body will allow hotels to prepare food and make deliveries. He informed that he held a meeting with Reliance, Big Basket and others. ‘’We will issue them passes and we have decentralised that process,’’ he said.

Pardesh said that BMC is also working on the food chain, where it will issue passes of essential services to people working in food grain go downs and those associated with it. "Once the go downs are full, they can supply to hotels and kitchens who can prepare food. There are many people who are home quarantined and don’t have kitchen facility. There are lot of BMC staff like doctors and para medic workers who can benefit from it,’’ he noted.

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