The Nashik city police and municipal corporation have decided to charge Rs 5 as fees for entering markets for an hour. on 30 March decision came as a bid to curb crowd in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases in the Maharashtra city.
However, a day later, people could be seen queuing up to pay the fee and collect their receipts at city’s Cidco market on 31 March morning, defeating the purpose of the move, even as police struggled to control the crowd.
Some were not very happy with the fee. “The new rule is nonsense. I had to pay Rs 10 for 2 h only to check the availability of a few things in the market,” said Aditi Kulkarni, a student.
Maharashtra Police officials said that charges of Rs 5 are applicable for an hour. Anyone found overstaying will be fined Rs 500 under relevant sections of Bombay Police Act.
Justifying the decision, Nashik police commissioner Deepak Pandey said, “We have adopted a different approach. The intension behind charging ₹5 is to control crowd and contain the Covid-19 surge.”
The Nashik city has already witnessed lockdown twice during weekends this month. The state government is now planning stricter measures across Maharashtra to control the spread of the virus.
Recently, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had pointed out that people were not wearing masks, marriage halls were allowing more than the allowed number of guests, people were crowding market places and not observing social distancing and private offices were calling to work more than 50% of staff in one go.
However, the state has, for now, ruled out a lockdown but could implement stricter curbs from the next week, said reports. The state government is likely to decide on shutting down restaurants, hotels, theatres and reducing business house hours in a meeting slated to be chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray this weekend.