Pune Police extend time window to buy essentials till 2pm
The time has been extended taking into account the inconvenience caused to residents, who have been seen breaking social distancing norms in view of the small window to buy essential itemsUpdated: Apr 28, 2020, 16:40 IST
The Pune police on Monday announced that there will be a relaxation in the timings for shops to remain open beyond 12 noon in the city. The entire city has been declared a containment zone and shops selling groceries and essential items had been allowed to run their business between 10am and 12 noon during the lockdown, but on Monday, after Pune police’s fresh orders, the timing has been extended till 2pm.
The time has been extended taking into account the inconvenience caused to residents, who have been seen breaking social distancing norms in view of the small window to buy essential items.
Ravindra Shisve, joint commissioner of police in his order stated, “Shops selling essential items will now be able to function from 10 am to 2 pm instead of the earlier deadline of 12 noon. However, strictures related to social distancing and observing hygiene standards like compulsory wearing of masks, use of hand gloves, face shield and use of sanitisers will remain in force.”
While many housing societies and citizens had demanded that shops be open for half a day, Pune mayor Muralidhar Mohol in his request to the police had stated that many people were stepping outside the house to buy essentials and social distancing was not being observed as the timings to buy items was short. According to residents, the time window to buy essential commodities is limited leading to shops being crowded and social distancing norms being violated with impunity.
“Residents should not take the relaxation in timings lightly and roam outside their homes. We have information that citizens go to shops multiple times to buy essentials, which must stop. If you go outside time and again you are more likely to get infected if you come in contact with a Covid-19 positive person,” said Pune police commissioner K Venkatesham.
In many areas such as Kondhwa, NIBM road, Padmawati, Katraj, Aundh and Baner, social distancing was absent when people stepped out to purchase vegetables and groceries. “The two-hour window is too limited for everyone to come out of their home and purchase essentials. As supply of vegetables and milk is also limited, people do not have any option, but to come out within that two-hour window, which leads to chaos,” said Amrita Mali, a resident of Sahakarnagar.
Sanjay Gaikwad, a resident of Salunke Vihar, said, “I had to wait for 45 minutes in the scorching sun to buy chicken, which earlier was an easy task. The two-hour window is putting severe pressure on the shopkeepers and buyers. We request the police authorities to increase the timings by two hours.”
Meanwhile, a senior citizen, Francis D Mello, who had stepped out to buy groceries in Wanowrie, said, “The queues are long and it is difficult to get things on time. There is lot of pressure on the shopkeepers as they have very less time on their hand. Relaxation in curfew timings will see less crowds on the roads as people will not panic.”
Rajeshkumar Chaudhary, who owns a grocery shop in Kondhwa, said, “The time is short and police take very strict action if we flout the rules. We are able to cater to only around 30 per cent of the customers in queue. Extension in timing will bring things back to normalcy.”