Picture used for representational purpose only
MUMBAI: On a day hundreds of vehicles came out on Mumbai’s roads as many felt relaxations announced by the Centre for Lockdown 4.0 were applicable to the city, CM Uddhav Thackeray said it was still not possible to allow relaxations in red zones, and Mumbai police commissioner Parambir Singh issued a reminder that the city was still a red zone and vehicles travelling without any emergency would be impounded.
Addressing the state in the evening, Thackeray said the state would ease restrictions in green and orange zones, but curbs in red zones would stay as cases there were growing. “I want to control the spread of this virus before monsoon,” he said.
The CM didn’t spell out relaxations to be given in the green and orange zones, but said many things will open up and added the challenge is to keep these zones green and not let them slip into orange and red.
Officials said a detailed notification on the relaxations will be issued on Tuesday. The Central government had issued guidelines for the states on Sunday, but Maharashtra is yet to issue a notification.
Locals should step up, make Maha ‘atma-nirbhar’: CM
The Centre has allowed states to make their own decisions on relaxations but they cannot dilute the Centre’s guidelines.
Thackeray said nearly 50,000 industries were currently operational in the state with a five lakh workforce, but the state was gearing up to invite more industries to open up. Using the ‘sons of the soil’ card, he asked locals to step up and contribute towards rebuilding the state. “There are many who have gone back to their hometowns. I appeal to the locals to turn this into an opportunity and contribute towards rebuilding the state. To use Modiji’s term, let’s make Maharashtra AtmaNirbhar,” the CM said.
He said the state government has reserved 40,000 acres of land for new industries, and a policy to allow green industries to be set up in the state on the basis of merely self-certification was being worked out. He said in case industrialists willing to set up units in the state face a cash crunch and can’t buy land, the state will provide land on lease or rent too.
He said there were 1,484 Covid care centres in the state, with a total strength of 2.5 lakh beds. He also appealed to migrants who are still walking back home to stop where they are and to take the buses and trains the state has arranged. He said that so far, 5 lakh migrant labourers had sent back to their hometowns by trains and buses.
He also appealed to the people of the state wanting to travel within districts to stay where they were if it was not urgent. “There are some districts where cases are not much, and people from Mumbai or Pune who are going there have tested positive. I know people from Konkan enjoy this time in their villages, but this is not the time for enjoyment,” he said.
Thackeray said the lockdown has helped in keeping numbers under control. “The projections of cases if the lockdown was not implemented were fearful. We have managed to slow down the spread,” he said. He added that it will take time to normalise life, and the more people co-operate “the faster we can get there.”
The CM had a meeting with education department officials and asked them to explore e-learning, virtual classrooms and online education platforms for all rural and urban students and said education should continue even if schools are closed. “We cannot let an academic year go waste,” he said.