With the decreasing Covid-19 cases and a recuperation rate of 85%, the Maharashtra Government, on Wednesday under its Mission Begin Again plan declared unlocking of several activities. Metro services in Mumbai and Nagpur will be permitted to function with impact from October 19, in an evaluated way. Standard working strategies for the same will be issued by the urban development department which is able to take into thought the SOP issued by the ministry of housing and urban affairs.

Mumbai Metro tweeted that it would begin operations from 8.30 am on October 19. On the other hand, Nagpur Metro said it was prepared to operate services on its 25km-route but would declare the date for resumption of operations as it were after getting the SOP. The guidelines were silent on the full-scale resumption of Mumbai suburban services. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday had clarified that the government was in no rush to do so but was focusing on expanding the frequency of trains.

Despite Governor BS Koshyari’s free-wheeling note to CM Thackeray and the BJP’s state-wide disturbance clamouring for the reviving of temples, the MVA Government has not permitted the reviving of places of worship in the state. Thackeray had shot back a reply to Koshyari that he required no certificate for his Hindutva and has stood his ground on the matter. Thackeray has subsequently repeated that for him, the security of people is paramount for which he is prepared to take on the Governor or the opposition.

Further, with an objective to control/reduce crowding, markets/shops will be permitted to remain open for an additional two hours and can function from 9 am to 9 pm in areas outside containment zones only, with effect from October 15. Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association President Viren Shah has said this will result in a 20% increase in business, from the present 30%. However, schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will continue to be closed until October 31.

Gardens, parks, and open public spaces for recreational purposes will continue to be open. Local weekly bazaars, including those of animals, will be permitted to open in areas outside the containment zones only with effect from October 15. The SOP for the same will be issued by the concerned rural/urban local bodies and pandemic protocols shall be followed strictly.

Similarly, all government and private libraries will be allowed to function, following protocols of social distancing and sanitation, from October 15. The SOP will be issued by the department of higher and technical education.

Business to Business exhibitions will be permitted to open in areas outside containment zones only, from October 15. Marriages, other family functions and related gatherings with not more than 50 guests are allowed and funeral gatherings may not exceed 20 people. Permission will be granted for up to 50% of teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to schools at a time for online teaching/tele-counselling and related work in areas outside the containment zones only, from October 15. The SOP will be issued by the department of school education, which will take into consideration the SOP issued by the ministry of health and ministry of education.

The National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development, the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship, and their training providers can be operational from October 15. The SOP issued by the ministry of health will be followed. In higher education institutions, online/distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged. However, higher education institutions only for research scholars, (PhDs) and laboratory/experiment work for post-graduate students in science and technology will be permitted from October 15.