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Face mask not mandatory while travelling with family in private vehicle

PUNE The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has relaxed norms and said wearing of face masks while travelling with family members in a private vehicle will no longer be mandatory within the boundaries of the city
By Mansi Deshpande
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 10:52 PM IST

PUNE The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has relaxed norms and said wearing of face masks while travelling with family members in a private vehicle will no longer be mandatory within the boundaries of the city.

Vikram Kumar, Pune municipal commissioner, issued an order regarding the same on Friday.

This relaxation is applicable if all the travellers in the vehicle including the driver and passengers are from the same family. The order specifies that if the driver or any other passenger in the private vehicle is not a member of the same family, then the mask will be compulsory for all. This relaxation will be applicable only within the limits of Pune city.

Murlidhar Mohol, mayor, took to his official Twitter handle and announced, “Wearing a face mask will not be mandatory while travelling with family in a private vehicle. This relaxation will be applicable only within the boundaries of Pune city.”

Amitabh Gupta, commissioner of Pune police, confirmed the decision and said, “We discussed the issue a decision was taken to relax rules for family travelling together in a four-wheeler.”

“A meeting was held on Friday where Ajit Pawar, Pune guardian minister, reviewed the Covid-19 situation. This issue was raised in the meeting and the decision was taken,” said Siddharth Shirole, an elected member of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly from Shivajinagar constituency.

“Guardian minister held a meeting with the mayor, MALs and other civic authorities. Masks are still mandatory in taxis and rented public cars,” he said.

A week after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) revoked the order of imposing fine for not wearing masks inside private vehicles, similar demand was gathering steam in Pune.

The Anti-Helmet Compulsion Action Committee (AHCAC) which has members from various political parties and social activists had issued a joint statement on Wednesday addressing the PMC commissioner Vikram Kumar, urging him to stop collecting fines from people for not wearing masks in private vehicles. After such a rising public demand the city authorities were mulling the decision.

Sandip Khardekar, chairman, Creative Foundation, who had written to civic authorities to revoke the compulsion was not satisfied with the announcement. “The decision which has been declared specifies that the fine will not be collected if only family members are travelling in the private vehicle, but how will they cross-check if all are family members? This leaves scope for collecting fines.

“Masks should be mandatory in transport vehicles, but the compulsion should be relaxed for all private vehicles. That’s what BMC has done,” he said.

Ankush Kakade, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former mayor of Pune, said that the decision was necessary.

“The compulsion should have been relaxed a long time back,” he said.

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