Bye bye e-pass; private buses can get back on road for intra-state travel

Updated: 01 September, 2020 07:11 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Metro, monorail, places of worship, gyms and bars have to wait some more to restart

Metro rail services remain suspended till further orders. Sources said CM will take a decision in this regard in a few days. File pic
Metro rail services remain suspended till further orders. Sources said CM will take a decision in this regard in a few days. File pic

Starting Wednesday, those travelling within the state won't require an e-pass or travel permit anymore, according to the state governments Unlock 4.0 guidelines issued on Monday. The state government lifted the restrictions on movement of people and goods between districts and states by doing away with the mandatory e-pass or government permit requirement.

For the fourth phase of Mission Begin Again, passenger movement by private buses/minibuses and other commercial public carriers has also been allowed under the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be issued by the Transport Department. The state-owned public transport resumed last month, but private operators were losing on their income because of the bar.

No Metro for now

Though the Centre gave a go-ahead for restarting Metro rail, the Uddhav Thackeray administration is treading cautiously in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases and has decided to keep it shut for now. Both Monorail and Metro services remain suspended for now.

Sources said the government will take a decision on reopening of metro rail/monorail and increasing the frequency of suburban trains that currently run for select-employees working in the essential services departments.

No outdoor sports

There will be no restriction on outdoor physical activity, like morning and evening walks, exercising and use of gym equipment in open spaces. Indoor activities, like commercial gyms, also remain shut. However, outdoor sports activities, like cricket, football, etc, remain suspended as the government has not issued any new guidelines in this regard.

After a month of curtailed business, the hospitality industry received a green signal to start operations at 100 per cent room occupancy. A separate SOP will be issued to the hotels and lodges.

All shops, including liquor stores, will continue to operate on the existing SOPs, however, outlets serving liquor will continue to remain shut.

More staff strength

All Group A and B officers, including IAS officers, of the state government have been asked to come to offices, while other staff, excluding seniors, can work with 30 per cent strength in the MMR, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and 50 per cent strength in rest of Maharashtra.

Private establishments may operate at 30 per cent strength.

Places of worship shut

Places of worship have not been allowed to reopen even though massive protests were held in Pandharpur on Monday and the rest of the state over the past two days.

Sources said the CM was likely to decide on the reopening of religious places in a couple of weeks. Religious functions and large congregations also remain suspended.

Schools remain shut

The state government has decided not to send senior students to schools just yet. All the educational institutions and coaching centres will remain closed till September 30.

However, no specific shutdown deadline has been given to bars, cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, multiplexes, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places. Two days after the Centre issued the next phase of unlocking and barred states from imposing unilateral lockdowns in their jurisdictions, Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar notified his orders on Monday evening, asserting that the local authority should seek his permission before enforcing any measures and necessary restrictions in specified local areas like Containment Zones.

Sept 2
Day the new guidelines come into force

What Mission Begin Again phase IV says

What's allowed
.Hotels and lodges may operate at 100% capacity
.Private offices may operate at 30% strength
.For all state govt offices (except essential services):
.100% Group A and B officers
.Remaining staff to operate at 30% strength in MMR, Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad and at 50% strength in other regions
.Appoint a vigilance officer in every public and private office
.Travel by private buses/minibuses and other operators

What remains prohibited
.Metro rail
.Social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions or gatherings
.Schools, colleges, coaching institutes
.Cinema halls, swimming pools, theatres, etc

What must continue
.Work From Home and staggered office timings
.Containment Zones

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First Published: 01 September, 2020 07:01 IST

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