While malls and shopping complexes reopened under the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) on Wednesday, those under Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) will have to wait for another day as it announced its decision late. PMC issued a revised 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.
The malls are allowed to open from 9 am to 7 pm. Meanwhile, a well-known mall in Panvel decided to reopen the mall by the hands of a senior COVID-19 warrior on Thursday with much fanfare.
Panvel’s malls were closed since March 23. They were not allowed to operate even under unlock 3 in the first week of August. On the other hand, NMMC had allowed the reopening malls on August 6, but had rolled back its decision as people had begun gathering outside the mall. An order was issued on August 6 night, which put on hold NMMC's earlier decision that allowed malls and shopping complexes in the city to reopen under the unlock 3. Ironically, shopping malls that were closed for around four and half months due to the pandemic 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 the 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 food courts inside the malls.
At present, the number of active cases under NMMC and PMC is around 3,486 and 1,383. While PMC’s recovery rate has crossed 86 per cent, NMMC’s recovery rate is 85 per cent. A month back, NMMC had around 4,000 active cases and the recovery rate was around 75 per cent. “The situation has improved a lot and people with all precautions can go outside,” said a senior civic official.