No complete lockdown, but Thane sees complete chaosUpdated: Jun 30, 2020 00:53 IST
Thane police commissioner Vivek Phansalkar on Monday put out a tweet on complete lockdown in Thane, only to retract from it hours later, just like the Thane Municipal Corporation, leaving residents panicking and thronging markets to stock up on essentials.
The decision on a lockdown has been pending since Saturday, when the corporation first decided to impose it. The police department wanted a complete lockdown, while the civic body was indecisive. On Monday morning, both the authorities decided on a lockdown, however, the corporation again backtracked in the evening.
Apart from the tweet, the announcements of lockdown were even made using autorickshaws across the city. Many even tweeted to know what will be allowed and what is restricted. The corporation’s earlier stance that home delivery of vegetables or groceries will not permitted only added to the confusion.
Thane police commissioner claimed the tweet was removed and the lockdown will only be limited to containment and red zones.
Vivek Phansalkar, police commissioner, Thane, said, “There will not be a complete lockdown in the city, but only in containment zones and red zones. Many people from Thane commute to Mumbai and nearby cities, so a complete lockdown is not possible. Instead, we will ensure that the lockdown restrictions are implemented strictly in containment zones and areas where the density of cases is more.”
Sandeep Malvi, deputy municipal commissioner, said, “We are still working on the norms of a lockdown. The notification of things permitted in the areas under lockdown will be in accordance with the state guidelines. Residents should not panic.” He, however, offered no clarity on complete lockdown.
The flip-flop invited the ire of the residents. Harshada Sandhan, 37, a resident of Hiranandani Estate, said, “With no clarity on whether essential goods and grocery would be available, we went into last-minute panic to stock up on essentials, as in March, when complete lockdown was announced, it continued till May-end. With no information, we scrambled to stock up on perishables such as dairy and vegetables.”
Many said the rush only made sure social distancing norms were flouted. Sagar Patil, 34, a resident of Dokali, said, “We heard the announcement and went to the market in my area. There was a huge crowd with no social distancing. There were queues outside wine shops too.”
With 338 new cases on Monday, Thane’s case count is 8,506, while the toll is 292 with 15 new deaths.
Meanwhile, the Ambernath Municipal Council (AMC) has extended its weeklong lockdown to another week till July 6. Earlier on June 23 the municipal council imposed a week-long lockdown due to the spike in Covid- 19 cases.