Mumbai

All shops providing essential supplies will be open 24x7: CM

Patient wait: People stand in long queues without observing social distancing outside a gas distribution agency in Mahim.

Patient wait: People stand in long queues without observing social distancing outside a gas distribution agency in Mahim.   | Photo Credit: Aadesh Choduhari

Medical professionals urged to approach police if housing societies deny them permission to enter homes; State to make sure vulnerable in society do not go hungry

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday announced that all grocery shops, pharmacies and other establishments providing essential services will remain open 24x7. He added that shopkeepers can keep their shops open only if they agree to enforce precautionary measures such as social distancing to protect the health of their customers.

Mr. Thackeray held a meeting with top bureaucrats to discuss the situation in the State after the announcement of the nationwide 21-day lockdown to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.

A senior bureaucrat, who attended the meeting, said, “It was observed that despite the lockdown being announced, shops selling essential commodities are witnessing huge crowds. We need to avoid this as much as possible and therefore in the meeting with senior bureaucrats, a decision to allow shops to remain open for 24 hours was taken.” The State government also announced a slew of decisions after receiving several complaints from different quarters.

Threat of legal action

The government threatened to take legal action against house owners and housing societies denying entry to tenants and residents who are doctors, nurses and other professionals working in the medical sector.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the State government said doctors, nurses and officials from the Health Department are playing a crucial role in the fight against the novel coronavirus. The statement, “The administration has taken all necessary measures to ensure that such staff are not infected. However, they are being told to vacate their houses by housing societies and owners of flats. We have received such complaints and taken a serious note of it.”

A bank branch in Goregaon (West) on Thursday, the second day of the nationwide 21-day lockdown.

A bank branch in Goregaon (West) on Thursday, the second day of the nationwide 21-day lockdown.   | Photo Credit: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

The government has asked medical professionals to approach the nearest police station in case they face such incidents and warned offenders of strict legal and monetary action.

Community kitchens

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar announced the launch of community kitchens in cities with the help of NGOs, social organisations and volunteers to ensure that the homeless, senior citizens who are living alone, differently-abled and the poor do not go hungry.

Taking note of the ‘community langar’ initiative of the Nagpur District Collector with the help of private companies, Mr. Pawar said similar initiatives should be started in urban parts of the State. He said ‘ready to cook’ or ‘ready to eat’ food packets should be provided to vulnerable people in society.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 4:10:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/all-shops-providing-essential-supplies-will-be-open-24x7-cm/article31177209.ece

Next Story