MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government issued a notification on Tuesday dividing the COVID-19 affected areas in the state into red and non-red zones. The Mumbai metropolitan region falls under the red zone.
According to the notification, home delivery of alcohol will be allowed in Mumbai but sales will not be allowed at liquor shops. All the rules of the notification will come into effect from May 22. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had earlier announced the extension of the lockdown till May 30.
The central government previously announced three zones -- green with zero COVID-19 cases, orange with less than 15 cases and red with more than 15 cases. But now there will only be two zones in the state.
The Mumbai metropolitan region that includes Thane, Kalyan, Navi Mumbai etc, Pune, Solapur, Nasik, Amaravati, Malegaon, Aurangabad, Dhule and Jalgaon districts will be red zones while the remaining districts will be non-red zones.
“Property and vehicle registrations will be allowed in all red and non-red zones while taxis and autos will not be allowed in red zones. Malls, restaurants, cinema halls, swimming pools, gyms and other public gathering places will remain shut,” stated the notification.
The notification further reads that standalone non-essential shops along with essentials will be permitted to function in red zones as well. “Barber shops and saloons will not be allowed in both red and non-red zones. Restaurants can start home delivery services. Government and private offices will be allowed to function in non-red zones while in red zones, only 5% government staff will work and private offices will remain shut,” reads the notification.
Thackeray said that industries have been allowed to function in non-red zones, adding that only eco-friendly industries will be allowed to operate in red zones. The government has also started the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment scheme where more than 1.5 lakh labourers have been given work.
Thackeray is planning to reopen schools and colleges in June. He had a meeting with school and higher education department officials via video conferencing where they discussed starting the academic year. Thackeray said COVID-19 will impact the education sector not just in India but at the global level also.
“But children's education should not be affected. I have asked the education department to submit a comprehensive plan revolving around the new academic year. We should also have a backup plan. If schools and colleges do not open in June, then e-schools or digital learning should be started. The IT department should also be involved while preparing the plan,” Thackeray said.