Public Transport Only for Essential Services; Wedding Guests Limited to 25

April 21, 2021 0 Comments


Amid exponentially rising cases of COVID-19 in Maharashatra, the state government issued fresh guidelines to curb the spread of the virus. The new restrictions will remain in force throughout the state of Maharashtra from 8pm on April 22 till 7 am on May 1. Taking strict measures, the government has imposed what seems to be a partial lockdown in the state under its ‘Break the Chain’ initiative. Only those in essential services will be allowed to travel in the public transport. It has further ordered all government offices to work at 15% capacity and limited the attendance in marriages to 25 persons.

Unlike last year, the state has not resorted to a complete lockdown and is allowing the functioning of public transport, including local trains, which were shut for months leading to major inconvenience to those travelling for essential services.

Travelling will be allowed with 50 per cent capacity of the vehicle. Passengers travelling by private buses will have to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days after they reach their destination. Bus operators will have to stamp the passengers’ hands to indicate they are supposed to stay at home for 14 days.

Weddings can take place in a single hall and the ceremony shall not extend beyond two hours and violation of the rule will attract a fine of Rs 50,000, the notification said.

Maharashtra on Wednesday reported 67,468 fresh coronavirus cases, taking its tally beyond the 40 lakh mark, while 568 more patients succumbed to the infection, said a state health department official. The tally of 67,468 infections, the second highest single-day count so far, pushed the COVID-19 caseload of Maharashtra to 40,27,827, he said.

Here are the latest guidelines issued by the Uddhav Thackeray government:

Office Attendance

a. All Government Offices (State, Central, under local authority) to operate only with 15 % attendance except for emergency services directly connected to management of COVID-19 pandemic.

  • In the case of Mantralaya and Central Government offices in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, the Head of the Department can decide for higher attendance after seeking permission for the same from the CEO of the Maharashtra State Disaster Management Authority.
  • In case of other government offices, the Head of the Office can decide for higher attendance after seeing permission for the same from local Disaster Management Authority.

b. For all other offices mentioned under Section 5 of Break the Chain Order dated 13th April, 2021, they should function only with 15% of their total attendance or 5 people whichever is more.

c. For all the office works required for essential services mentioned in Section 2 of Break the Chain Order dated 13th April, 2021, should work at lowest required capacity for the same and in no case exceed 50%, Attendance of

personnel actually delivering the essential services on the ground should also be minimised but can be extended up to 100% as per the requirements.

Marriage Ceremony

The marriage ceremony may be conducted only as a single event in a single hall not extending beyond 2 hours with maximum of total 25 persons attending the same. Any family seen to be flouting the restraints or not following these in letter and spirit may be fined Rs 50000/-, and any location that is misused or is defaulting in spirit of the restrictions shall be closed till promulgation of COVID-19 as a disaster remains in force.

Private Passenger Transport

a. Private Passenger transport excluding buses can ply only for emergency or essential services or valid reasons with driver plus 50% of the seating capacity. These are expected to be inter-district or inter-city and should be confined to the city of residence of the travellers. Inter-district or inter-city travel is allowed only if required for performing an essential service or in case of medical emergencies or attending unavoidable events like funerals or severe sickness of family. Anyone flouting the order in letter or spirit shall be punishable by fine of Rs 10000/-.

b. Private buses can ply with 50% of seating capacity with no standing travellers.

c. Inter-city or inter-district travel by private buses shall be subject to following controls:

  • Bus service operator must restrict the stoppages to maximum two in a city and shall inform local DMA about the same and the schedule. Local DMA may ask to change these if so desired.
  • At the stoppages where passengers are alighting all passengers shall be stamped on the hand for 14 days home quarantine. This stamping must be done by operator.
  • Thermal scanners shall be used and anyone with symptoms shall be moved to corona care centres or to a hospital.
  • Local DMA may decide to do the RAT test at the alighting point by appointing one of the authorised labs to give these services. Cost of the test, if so decided shall be borne by the passenger/ service provider.
  • If any operator is found to be flouting these guidelines, then DMA may levy a fine of 10000/-. Repeated defaults will lead to cancellation of license to operate till end of notification of COVID 19 as a pandemic.
  • The local Disaster Management Authority can waive off the rules regarding mandatory stamping for buses arriving from certain origins as per the local conditions.

Public Passenger Transport

a. Only the following categories of people will be allowed to use local trains, metro and mono rail services (excepting long distance trains)

  • All Government personnel (State/ Central/ Local), Tickets/ passes to be issued to the above category of personnel on the basis of a Government issued identity card only.
  • All Medical Personnel (Doctors/ paramedics/ lab technicians/ hospital and medical clinic staff etc). Tickets/ passes to be issued on the basis of a identity card issued by the concerned medical organization.
  • Any persons needing medical treatment or specially-abled persons and one person accompanying the needy .

b. State government or local government owned public buses shall ply at 50% of the capacity with no. standing passengers.

c. Inter-city or inter-district travel by long distance trains and buses shall be subject to following controls:

  •  Local Railway officers/ MSRTC officers shall provide all the information that local DMA may require for screening the people travelling by these trains and alighting in their jurisdictions.
  • At the stoppages where passengers are alighting, all passengers shall be stamped on the hand for 14 days home quarantine. Thermal scanners shall be used and anyone with symptoms shall be moved to corona care centres or to a hospital
  • Local DMA may decide to the RAT test at the alighting point by appointing one of the authorised labs to give these services. Cost of the test, if so decided shall be borne by the passenger.
  • The local Disaster Management Authority can waive off the rules regarding mandatory stamping for buses arriving from certain origins as per the local conditions.

e. All other conditions other than the ones specified in this order will be in accordance with the Government Order dated 13th April, 2021 and additions/ clarifications already issued thereof by the State Government.

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