Police's 2-km rule yet another source of confusion

Updated: Jul 02, 2020, 07:34 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

Hundreds of citizens have been punished through the impounding of their vehicles under the not-beyond-two-kilometre rule.

Mumbai police personnel make enquiries with two-wheeler riders near Opera House on Tuesday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Mumbai police personnel make enquiries with two-wheeler riders near Opera House on Tuesday. Pic/Bipin Kokate

It was disconcerting to read a report in this paper that cited numerous problems arising out of the confusion about the 2-km rule.

Hundreds of citizens have been punished through the impounding of their vehicles under the not-beyond-two-kilometre rule.

The Mumbai police's rule says that people cannot venture outside beyond 2 km from their homes, except for work or emergencies.

Yet, the public is confused as some of them go beyond 2 km to buy essentials. Is that allowed or not? What is the exact fine for going beyond 2 km? Some vehicles are being impounded, others are being let off with a fine. When one cites an emergency, what does it exactly constitute? Is visiting an elderly parent an emergency or not? What if one is going to an office, not one's own, but somebody else's for work? Is that considered going to work? There are so many questions which people want answers to.

While every effort has to and is being made to stop the spread of COVID-19, rules that are not clearly spelt out or are conveyed in an opaque manner, give rise to bitterness and frustration. This rule too is mired in the confusion that has unfortunately become a pattern every time a fortnight or month goes by, and the public looks forward to official announcements about the next phase in our COVID-19 war.

Adding to the mass of bewildered persons is the slew of social media messages compounding the muddled mix. Retail shops and salons given the green light to open, are wondering how buyers and clients will come since the 2-km rule is in force.

Now we will see rollbacks and explanations leaving the public more mystified than ever. Intentions are good, but dissemination and crystal-like clarity have had a big question mark, ever since the lockdown began.

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