Decision on reopening gyms, places of worship likely in September first week: Sanjay Raut

The state government has been treading cautiously on this policy decision, as Maharashtra has emerged as a Covid-19 hotspot
The demand to reopen gymnasiums and religious places of worship, despite the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19), has been gaining momentum in Maharashtra.(Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
The demand to reopen gymnasiums and religious places of worship, despite the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19), has been gaining momentum in Maharashtra.(Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
Updated on Aug 27, 2020 03:08 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Mumbai | By

Sanjay Raut, a Rajya Sabha (RS) member from the Shiv Sena, said that the Maharashtra government is expected to take a decision on reopening gymnasiums and religious places of worship in September.

The demand to reopen gymnasiums and religious places of worship, despite the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19), has been gaining momentum in Maharashtra.

Several leaders, including from the ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government, comprising the Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress, have also demanded the reopening of gymnasiums and religious places of worship.

Earlier in August, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had allowed gymnasiums and religious places of worship to be reopened amid the pandemic.

However, the state government has been treading cautiously on this policy decision, as Maharashtra has emerged as the Covid-19 hotspot in the country.

“I think the Chief Minister has already made statements regarding it. As per my understanding, a decision on reopening gymnasiums and religious places of worship would be taken in the first week of September,” Raut told media persons in Mumbai.

Devendra Fadnavis, the leader of Opposition in Maharashtra; and Raj Thackeray, chief, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena; have also been demanding the reopening of gymnasiums and religious places worship in Maharashtra.

Raj Thackeray had questioned the state government’s move, as the latter had allowed the reopening of shopping malls.

Supriya Sula, a Member of Parliament (MP) from the NCP, too, had said last week that the state government should allow the reopening of gymnasiums and religious places of worship.

State health minister Rajesh Tope is in agreement with these leaders.

“There are several people, who want gymnasiums to be reopened. The move will help build herd immunity against Covid-19. However, the CM is concerned that social distancing norms may not be maintained. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) can be issued before gymnasiums are reopened,” Tope had said last week.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Swapnil Rawal is Principal Correspondent with the Hindustan Times. He covers urban development and infrastructure. He had long stints with leading national dailies and has experience of over a decade in journalism.

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