Lockdown may be extended in Mumbai, 4.0 Will Be A Mix Of The Strict And Lenient
Hotspots will be fully sealed; state looking at relaxations elsewhere to re-start economy
With COVID-19 cases and deaths on the rise, the state government on Thursday principally decided to extend the lockdown, as suggested by the Centre. It also discussed measures for more relaxations in orange and green zones to keep the wheels of the economy turning, and want strict management in red zones.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray his deputy Ajit Pawar and senior ministers Balasaheb Thorat, Eknath Shinde, Anil Parab and Ashok Chavan met on Thursday and agreed for lockdown 4.0. However, an official announcement is expected only after the Centre declares an extension of the nationwide lockdown, as hinted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.
The MVA government is ready to offer more relaxations wherever possible, while enforcing stringent guidelines in the novel Coronavirus hot spots. Containment areas in Mumbai and Pune metropolitan regions and other red zones would continue to be under a strict vigil of the healthcare and law and order authorities.
Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta and Finance Secretary Manoj Saunik, who also attended the meeting, believed to have indicated rolling out some economic measures during the fourth stage. The government had appointed a group of ministers, bureaucrats and experts to recommend measures to boost the fast depleting commerce and industry.
With the central government announcing a package, the state might amend its financial action plan. It may also register a protest with the Centre, which has asked states to offer financial guarantee to the lenders. The provision has upset many cash-strapped states, including Maharashtra.
The state government wants better management of containment zones in Mumbai and Pune. Pic/ Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Thackeray on Thursday also decided to assign local minister in-charges for different regions of Greater Mumbai for better coordination, supervision and in-situ decision making.
For lockdown 4.0, sources said the government wants better management of containment zones in Mumbai and Pune. The CM has sought 20 companies of paramilitary forces for enforcement in hot spots. Migrant workers’ transportation has been expedited after Rs 54.75 crore grant was given to 36 district collectors from the CM’s Relief Fund. Mumbai city received the highest grant of Rs 13 crore, followed by Rs 10 crore to Mumbai suburban and Rs 4.80 crore to Thane.
After the third extension was announced, the state government had implemented several relaxations in orange and green zones. Industries, including distilleries, were allowed to resume production on certain conditions. Administrators of red zones, like Nagpur, changed their mind on Thursday and approved home delivery of liquor. However, Mumbai hasn’t done it yet.
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