Prafulla Marpakwar & Sujit Mahamulkar TNN


Maharashtra has decided to tighten restrictions in Mumbai and Pune. Norms laid down by the Centre on Friday set the framework for states while allowing them to increase restrictions, though no restrictions could be diluted.

Liquor shops too cannot open in red zones in Maharashtra. A senior bureaucrat told TOI liquor shops in municipal limits of MMR, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Malegaon will remain closed. While there are 4,200 liquor shops in the state, including country and IMFL stores, 1,400 are located in MMR, Pune, Pimpri- Chinchwad and Malegaon. Elsewhere in the state, district collectors and superintendents of the excise department have been empowered to take a decision depending on local conditions.

The bureaucrat said guidelines on liquor shops will be issued on Sunday or Monday. “We are still studying the situation. We will ensure that even if shops are opened in permitted areas, social distancing is maintained,” he said.

While the Centre had allowed domestic help, the state directive on Saturday did not mention it. The restriction on movement would apply to domestic help unless the employer or employee are able to obtain permission for movement from the collector or police. In Mumbai, the issue of whether to allow maids to enter apartments has become a topic of discussion in many societies, especially after the Centre relaxed the rule on Friday.

State government sources said maids are not considered part of essential services. “Even if they travel from a noncontainment zone to a housing society in a non-containment area in Mumbai, it will not be allowed,” the sources said.

All standalone shops, neighbourhood shops and shops in residential complexes, both essential and non-essential, are permitted to remain open in urban areas, but not in civic corporation areas of MMR, Malegaon, Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad corporations.

In a relief to many builders, the state has allowed construction to commence at sites only where labourers are already available. No worker can be brought in from outside.