Mumbai: Liquor shops will not be allowed to open from today in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said in an order issued late on Tuesday night. Only groceries, medical stores and chemist shops will be allowed to remain open in the city, it said.
The relaxations given by the Maharashtra government to run certain non-essential services and shops are withdrawn, the order said. This is done due to overcrowding, people not maintaining social distance. There are multiple reports, news in social media and inputs received from the Police and the ward officials that due to above relaxation there has been huge crowds gathering near these shops,” said an order signed by Municipal commissioner Parvin Pardeshi.
In a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19, Mumbai Police announced that Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) has been imposed in the city till May 17, when the nationwide lockdown is expected to be lifted. Section 144 of CrPC prohibits the assembly of four or more people in an area. With this move, Mumbai joins the administrations of Solapur, Aurangabad, Jalna, Buldhana and Amravati districts, which had on Monday issued instructions that liquor shops will not be allowed to open. Liquor is a major source of revenue for Maharashtra, which earned about ₹45,000 crore in the form of taxes on it in 2019-20, an official from state excise department said. Mumbai has the highest number of Covid-19 cases at 3096 confirmed infections. Within the country, Maharashtra continues to have the most cases with 1454.
To contain the spread of novel coronavirus, India is under an extended lockdown with some relaxations. The third phase of lockdown is in force till May 17.