No lockdown in city: Mayor Joshi pulls up civic officials for by-passing elected office-bearers
   Date :01-Aug-2020

Mayor Joshi _1  
 Mayor Sandip Joshi presiding over meeting of public representatives at NMC Central Office on Friday.
Staff Reporter ;
Capping intense speculation among citizens, there was unanimity among public representatives and also among administration that there would not be any lockdown in the city. Since last fortnight city was abuzz with talks about impending lockdown together with curfew in view of rising cases of coronavirus patients. But a meeting of public representatives, called by Mayor Sandip Joshi on Friday at NMC Central Office, ruled out need for a lockdown as the situation is well under control. Mayor while explaining the decision said that people were aware of the effects of lockdown and public representatives averred that public awareness is the only way out to minimise the positive cases of COVID-19. The meeting was held at auditorium adjacent to Municipal Commissioner’s Office.
Joshi said in case any lockdown is announced then public representatives would take to street and oppose it. Further during the meeting, Mayor issued directions to civic administration that the shops on 12 metre and above wide roads be excluded from Odd/Even norms and they be allowed to function on daily basis. Shops on 9 metres wide roads would need to observe alternate day norms but the same would also be applicable to grocery and other essential category stores. This is in particular about wholesale market where heavy rush is witnessed and on small road width over crowding is witnessed which is resulting in threat of spreading of virus.
He also questioned penal charges on part of civic administration for deterring shopkeepers from violating regulation discipline saying, “they not been approved by Standing Committee till date. Thus this is illegal and henceforth all aspects relating to finance should be approved first from competent authority and then only they be implemented.” So henceforth fines should not be imposed on traders. He also criticised civic administration for its high-handness for crackdown on idol-makers in Chitar Oli. Earlier at the meeting, Dr Vikas Mahatme, Member, Rajya Sabha, stated that lockdown is not the solution but more prudent would be to provide necessary manpower and material to health machinery to fight the virus.
Krupal Tumane, Member of Parliament, Ramtek, said, “we have to fight coronavirus mentally as it has hijacked our senses. Girish Vyas, MLC, raised the issue of absence of norms in crowded places like wholesale markets where grocery shops continue to function daily and suggested Odd/Even norms for their better regulation. “Awareness is the best medium to discipline the citizens so that crowding in public places can be avoided,” felt Nago Ganar, MLC.
Mohan Mate, MLA, said,, “before deciding on lockdown, its impact on poor people should be taken into account and arrangements for their bread and butter should be taken care of.” Krishna Khopde, MLA, decried the ongoing politics during time of pandemic and voiced against Odd/Even rule as it is hitting the trade badly. Similarly, liquor shops are functioning in outer parts of city and they must be regulated as crowding is seen at such places. In case now lockdown is announced, citizens would take to streets and oppose it, said Vikas Kumbhare, MLA. Tanaji Wanve, Leader of Opposition, Dayashankar Tiwari, senior corporator, Sandeep Jadhav, Ruling Party Leader, Vijay Zalke, Chairperson, Standing Committee, also opposed any need for lockdown.