A day after the Maharashtra government prodded by fears of Delta Plus variant and a possible third wave of COVID-19 issued a new order imposing stringent unlocking curbs, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Saturday announced the imposition of section 144, barring the gathering of five or more persons in one place during the day from 5 am to 5 pm. It has also decided to clamp night curfew from 5 pm till 5 am. The citizens will be allowed to venture out only for exigency and essentials.
Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol said the order, which has been issued under the Epidemic Act, 1897 and the Disaster Management Act, 2005, will be effective from Monday. Pune’s positivity rate is reported at 7.38% which is higher than 5% as per the government’s June 4 order. The progressive COVID 19 cases in the PMC area were reported at 4,92,834 with 8,123 deaths.
All essential shops will remain open all day till 4 pm and non-essential shops till 4 pm on Mondays and Fridays, as they will remain shut on weekends. However, E-commerce services will be allowed to function on all days.
Malls, single-screen and multiplexes will be closed. Restaurants, bars and food courts will be open from Monday to Friday till 4 pm with 50% seating capacity. After 4 pm and on weekends only parcel service / home delivery service will continue till 11 pm.
The civic body has said that employees of essential services, including medical services and women employees from government departments and employees of airport and port services, will be allowed to travel by local train. The public transport services will operate with 50% capacity as standing passengers are strictly prohibited in the buses run by the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamanda Limted (PMPML).
The private offices are allowed to function till 4 pm while government offices with 50% capacity till 4 pm from Monday to Friday, along with offices being shut on weekends. However, government offices and emergency services required for COVID-19 management will continue to function at 100% capacity.
Public places (parks) in Pune Municipal Corporation area, open spaces, walking and cycling will be allowed for all days of the week from 5 am to 9 am. All outdoor sports are permitted for all days from 5 am to 9 am.
Gyms, salons, beauty parlours, spas and wellness centres will function with 50% of seating capacity till 4 pm only by appointments. However, on weekends they will remain completely shut. These establishments are also barred from using the air conditioning (AC) facility.
The civic body has permitted social, religious and entertainment programs only in the presence of 50 people from Monday to Friday while only 20 people will be allowed for funerals. Wedding ceremonies will be allowed in the presence of a maximum 50 people.
However, Mohol said the participants will have to strictly adhere to the Covid appropriate behaviour and in case of lapses, they will face punitive action.
All religious places will remain shut for citizens, excluding daily pooja.
The PMC has clarified that the construction activities where workers can stay and work are permitted. However, workers coming from outside are permitted to work till 4 pm as they will have to leave thereafter for their respective destinations.
Agriculture related shops and related establishments selling agricultural produce in the Agricultural Produce Market Committee will remain open all the days of the week till 4 pm.