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Mumbai: Essential shops to run for 4 hours a day in Bhandup

Officials said the decision was taken after public representatives from the areas complained that there was no change in people's behaviour and crowds were seen at many places despite the strict guidelines.

Taking note of repeated violation of Covid-19 guidelines, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to allow essential shops excluding medical stores to run for only four hours in a day in Bhandup and nearby areas.

Officials said the decision was taken after public representatives from the areas complained that there was no change in people’s behaviour and crowds were seen at many places despite the strict guidelines.

The BMC’s S ward, which covers Bhandup, Kanjurmarg and Powai areas, issued orders on April 17 allowing essential shops to remain open between 8 am and 12 pm. The order will be in effect from Monday for a month, said BMC officials.

“In S ward, people are coming out in huge numbers for purchases, which is causing increase in Covid-19 infection. To control the crowd from April 18, all essential shops selling groceries and fruit vendors can be opened between 8 am and 12 pm. Only medical stores are allowed to remain open,” reads an order issued by Vibhas Acharekar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of S ward.

According to guidelines issued under the Break the Chain order, the state government has allowed essential shops to run between 7 am and 8 pm. However, local urban bodies are empowered to take action based on specific conditions.

“Many complaints have come from local representatives about no change in situation in markets selling essential commodities. We have also appealed that between 8 am and 12 pm, all shops should prefer home delivery. We are hoping this will help in controlling the spread,” said Acharekar. “The restrictions will be in effect for the next one month.”

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