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Maharashtra Lockdown: Maharashtra government could extend blockade on Mumbai and Pune for 2 weeks | Mumbai News


MUMBAI: The state cabinet discussed Tuesday whether to extend the blockade for two weeks in Mumbai and Pune, which have reported a large number of cases. In an indication that the shutdown cannot be lifted on April 15, the cabinet approved two proposals. One for subsidized food grains to be provided even to saffron ration card holders (household income of Rs 15,000 to Rs 1 lakh a year). Two, the Shiv Thali scheme will be implemented at the taluka level at Rs 5 per plate for three months; was available for Rs 10 previously.

For the first time in its history, the state cabinet meeting was held via video conference. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and some cabinet members joined from his official residence, Varsha. Some connected from Mantralaya and the rest from their respective areas.

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A senior minister said that although a decision was not made on Tuesday, there was general consensus that the blockade should be extended in cities like Mumbai and Pune and some relaxation in areas where there are few or no cases. “Most of us are of the opinion that even in the event of relaxation, movement between districts should not be allowed. A decision will be made in the next few days, depending on the cases in the state, “said the minister.

He also said the government would extend the shutdown by two weeks in Mumbai and other affected cities.

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The cabinet discussed that the blockade would be gradually relaxed based on the number of patients with Covid-19. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region and the Pune Metropolitan Region may witness a two-week extension, from now on.

A minister said the discussion on the closure issue was interrupted by Thackeray, who said the situation will be reviewed between April 10-14, to make a final decision. “A proper decision will be made about lifting the blockade at the right time,” Thackeray said.

After the meeting, Thackeray wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding an additional quota of subsidized grains for the state. According to the cabinet decision, nearly 3.8 million ration cards will benefit from the scheme. Wheat at Rs 8 per kg and rice at Rs 12 per kg will be delivered to all those with an orange ration card. “For this, an additional quota of 1.5 lakh metric tons of food grains has been requested from the Center. The state will assume a charge of 250 crore rupees, ”said an official. Currently, only those covered by the National Food Security Law (NFSA) —families with an annual income of Rs 59,000 or less — obtain subsidized food grains.

“We have made a decision about subsidized grains for all those with orange cards, regardless of their income limit. A similar decision will be made in the coming days to cover those with white ration cards (family income of more than Rs 1 lakh), ”said Cabinet Minister Aslam Shaikh. “For those who do not have a ration card like migrants, aid camps have been established in the state. There are more than five lakh people in these camps, ”said a minister.

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