Staff Reporter :
Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta gives assent to NMC proposal and amends earlier directive about moving Nagpur out of Red Zone list
Putting at rest speculations, Municipal Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe on Thursday promulgated an order wherein Nagpur city would continue to remain in Red Zone vis-a-vis COVID-19 status. In late evening development of Thursday, State Government approved the proposal moved by Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) thereby allowing status quo as to categorisation of city. Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta in his notification mentioned that in capacity as Chairperson, State Executive Committee, new guidelines are being issued to amend and include to notification issued on May 19.
Barricaded containment zone of city - Gaddigodam.
As per the notification from Maharashtra Government, it is mentioned that in sub-clause 9, NMC shall be considered under Red Zone. Thereafter, Mundhe issued the local notification stating that restrictions would continue to remain in force till end of lockdown 4.0, that is till May 31. He had been quite vocal about continuing with Red Zone categorisation in city claiming the situation is quite delicate and there is steady rise in number of coronavirus positive patients. Civic officials feared that unguarded opening at this stage could led to sudden spike in COVID-19 cases and Mundhe was confident he would convince senior State officials and not allow any change in status quo in respect of Nagpur city.
However, some concession are allowed by NMC despite Red Zone status and that is re-opening of non essential shops outside the containment zones. But their numbers are limited to only five per lane and they would be other than shops dealing in essential category goods. One more relaxation is that in Red Zone e-commerce platforms are allowed to deliver non-essential goods barring the containment zones. Till yesterday, e-commerce sites were allowed liberty of delivery of only essential goods. Now, this is quite ironic while shops in city would continue to face restrictions, the e-commerce are given leeway to mop the demand for white goods, especially mobiles. For constructions sites that was roaring to go once the restrictions were lifted are now again made to wait till end of month.
Particularly from city's point of view further extension on ban on construction sites would delay completion of concrete roads. Many of these roads are in various stages of completion and construction material is lying scattered. At many places one stretch of concrete road is complete only ramps needs to be put in place. Now with ban on construction activities, barring those given relaxation earlier, are going to severely test the patience of Nagpurians. Govt Offices: For Government offices, especially those of State Government the restrictions about attendance of employees remains in place. As per the NMC notification, only five per cent strength is permitted at State run offices or minimum 10. For Central Government previous norms would continue to remain applicable, it is mentioned. Private offices that were almost prepared to restart after 50-days of lockdown will have to wait till end of month.
Maharashtra Government does U-turn in two days Incidentally, on May 19, Maharashtra Government had placed before Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court a notification stating that barring Akola and Amravati, the remaining nine districts of Vidarbha, including Nagpur city, are going to be moved out of Red Zone category. That notification was issued as per the guidelines laid down by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as to procedure pertaining to COVID-19. In the same notification it was also mentioned that local officials would not issue any guidelines contrary to State’s directives. But now within two days, State Government has done a U-turn and again backtracked on decision about Nagpur city categorisation.