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BMC orders liquor shops to shut in Mumbai from May 6 after social distancing norms were flouted

Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai, Praveen Pardeshi, on May 5, 2020, revoked all relaxations and stated that alcohol sale in Mumbai will not be allowed from Wednesday, May 6. Mumbai Police has been asked to ensure compliance.

BMC orders liquor shops to shut in Mumbai from May 6 after social distancing norms were flouted
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On May 4, 2020, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation allowed standalone liquor shops in Mumbai to operate under certain guidelines and this decision proved to be a major concern after officials observed people gathering outside the shops hours before they were opened. Mumbai Police, in several parts of the city, had to control the crowd which queued outside the shops to buy alcohol. A similar pattern was observed on May 5, 2020.

Keeping the risk of coronavirus spread in mind, BMC commissioner on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, revoked all relaxations and stated that alcohol sale in Mumbai will not be allowed from Wednesday, May 6, 2020. Liquor shops will remain closed under further notice and Mumbai Police has been asked to ensure compliance. 

The statement released by BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi read, "It has been observed that the number of cases in the city has been rising and the downward trend is yet to set in and gathering of large crowds without following social distancing will be detrimental to the control of the spread of the virus and advantages of the lockdown will be lost due to gathering of people in large numbers. I am convinced that the relaxation notifications mentioned above is going to deteriorate the conditions in Mumbai city and hence the relaxations have to be withdrawn for Mumbai city."

The report states that only groceries and medical stores or chemist shops will be allowed to remain open. If one fails to follow the order, officials will be forced to take action under Sec 188 of the IPC.

The state excise department, in the statement released on May 5, 2020, stated that the government generated a revenue of 11 crores from the liquor sales, in one day. As per records, around 4 lakh litres of liquor was sold in Maharashtra.

The number of coronavirus cases the state of Maharashtra has been increasing at an exponential rate. An update released by the state health ministry on April 5, 2020, revealed that 841 new cases were reported in one day, along with 34 deaths, taking the total cases to 15,525 with 617 deaths. The tally in Mumbai and Pune reached 9945 and 1836 respectively. 

Also Read: More cases as people didn't follow lockdown properly in Delhi, Mumbai: Union Health Minister

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