Uddhav Thackeray reluctant despite officials favouring free movement of people

Cases in Maharashtra have reached more than 14,000 a day on an average and officials who spoke to ET on condition of anonymity, said it showed that the virus was not contained anymore.

PTI
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray
MUMBAI: Several bureaucrats in Maharashtra believe that the restrictions on people’s movement had outlived its purpose and the state should allow free movement. However, the state is reluctant to do so, despite the Centre’s directive to Maharashtra to allow free movement.

Although it is under unlock mode, the state has encouraged several district collectors and civic bodies to impose restrictions on people’s movement which has caused problems in intra- and inter-state movement of people as they have to get an ‘epass’ to travel from one region to another.

Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh had said on Saturday that “an appropriate decision” will be taken after discussions with chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar. However, late on Sunday, he tweeted, “As per discussions held with the CM, the existing Mission Begin Again guidelines will be in effect in Maharashtra, till any further announcement” meaning that the state is not keen to remove the restrictions as of now.


“This restriction on movement was understandable in March and April, when cases were isolated and restricted to certain regions. You want a lockdown to ensure that infected people do not go to regions which have no infection. Now, it doesn’t make sense because the infections are in the rural as well as urban areas. It’s simply everywhere,” a bureaucrat said.

Cases in Maharashtra have reached more than 14,000 cases a day on an average and officials who spoke to ET on condition of anonymity, said it showed that the virus was not contained anymore. “The lockdowns or restrictions are not having any effect in containing the virus, so there is no point in enforcing them any more. Take the example of Pune. It has been under several lockdowns. Yet, on an average, they are getting more than 3,000 cases a day. Beyond a point, keeping people indoors is not possible,” the official said.
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