The last week of May has kindled ray of hope for the citizens. With expectations of lifting lockdown by the Maharashtra Government from June 1, everyone, mostly businessmen are watching the developments with bated breath. Indications of relaxing restrictions imposed on opening and operation of shops and establishments are being circulated on social media. The Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and other political leaders in his ministry have started speaking about possibility of relaxing the norms.
The restrictions are likely to be relaxed in phased manner. The shops in general, service stations and other private offices are likely to be allowed to function normally in the first phase. Hotels, restaurants, bars, religious places, cinema theatres and other places with possibility of over-crowding, may not be allowed to open immediately. Schools and Colleges could be last on priority list.
Most of the business establishments are eagerly waiting for decision of the State Government. The downward trend of Covid19 positivity is raising their hopes. They are planning newer methods to make up for the economic losses they have suffered for the last over one year.
Huge loss of lives during the second phase is expected to have taught lesson to common people. Blatant violation of Covid protocol, which was experienced during the first phase, is likely to be curtailed now. The civic administration is also taking logical steps to control further spread of the dreaded Corona virus.
The shops, markets, offices should not be allowed to open for a limited period, as it would again result in over-crowding. They should be allowed to operate full time, with directions to strictly follow the Covid protocol. The business community has time and again stated that they are ready to follow the rules, if allowed to operate normally.
The municipal authorities and police personnel are imposing fines for even service providers from home on individual basis. This includes electricians, plumbers, automobile mechanics and other technicians. This has affected common people very badly. When home delivery for restaurants and hotels, and even liquor shops are allowed, why these small service providers are restricted from working on individual basis. These services must be considered as Essential Services, as their absence can affect functioning of even those included under the definition of ‘Essential Services’.
It is expected that the difficulties faced by the people will be considered, while taking any decision on relaxation of conditions of lockdown, from June 1.