Mumbai: Concerned over the huge crowds at the liquor shops, which might lead to law and order problems, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to close down the wine shops in Mumbai again. In addition to this, the civic body has also withdrawn other relaxations given to people during the lockdown period.
After the end of the second lockdown, the BMC had allowed the wholesale and retail liquor shops to open from May 4. Permission was also given to open all standalone shops and five shops selling non-essential goods in a lane/road.
However, civic chief Praveen Pardeshi on Tuesday issued a circular directing to withdraw all the relaxations offered to people with immediate effect. Only shops selling essential goods will be permitted to operate from Wednesday, Mr Pardeshi said.
Commenting on the decision to shut down wine shops, Mr Pardeshi said in his statement, “Multiple reports and inputs were received from the police and civic officials that due to the relaxation, people had gathered near wine shops and it has been impossible to maintain social distancing. There were few instances of law and order situation too.”
“Mumbai city has been categorised in the red zone with the number of coronavirus positive cases rising and the downward trend is yet to set in. The gathering of crowds in large numbers without following social distancing will be detrimental to the control of the spread of virus and the advantages of lockdown will be lost,” he stated.
According to civic officials, only the groceries and medical shops will be allowed to operate in Mumbai.
On Monday and Tuesday, huge crowds were witnessed at the liquor shops in the city with some witnessing long queues. This has raised concerns over the rapid spread of coronavirus in Mumbai, which has recorded nearly 10,000 Covid-19 patients with 387 deaths so far.