Mumbai’s Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday allowed non-essential shops to function between 7 am to 2 pm on alternate days from Monday to Friday for the next 15 days. With Covid-19 cases on a steady decline, the city’s civic body has loosened some of the restrictions that had been in place as part of a lockdown across the state of Maharashtra to curb the spread of the second wave of the pandemic. As per the new rules, shops selling essential items, which are currently allowed to operate between 7 am to 11 am, are now allowed to remain open all days between 7 am to 2 pm. However, one aspect of the new rules seemed to catch netizens attention. According to the new rules, shops on the left and right side of the road will be allowed to operate on alternate days.
Shops located on the right side of the roads will be open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while the shops on the left side will be allowed to operate on Tuesday and Thursday.
The following amendments to #BreakTheChain guidelines will be applicable in Mumbai:Essential shops to operate from 7am-2 pm, in a week
Non-essential shops on the right & left side of the roads to be open between 7am-2pm on alternate days, excluding weekends
E-commerce allowed https://t.co/kORPrzZbB2
— माझी Mumbai, आपली BMC (@mybmc) June 1, 2021
The new rules have caused a bit of confusion and some obvious jokes on Twitter. Many wondered how the authorities will decide which side is left or right in a street since it would depend on the position of the onlooker.
My reaction to the announcement of easing of restrictions in #Mumbai Shops on left to open on Mon, Wed, Fri & Shops on right to open on Tues & Thurs.
— Archit Mahajan (@archit92mahajan) May 31, 2021
Hilarity will ensue. Unlock begins in Mumbai. Shops on the right and left side of a road will open on alternate days.
Whose left is right? . But I am glad Mumbai has reached this milestone. https://t.co/S7UvRcpNdq
— Sudhir *Double Mask* Kesavan (@SudKes) May 31, 2021
Mumbai now has Schrodinger's ShopsBoth open and closed, until you decide which is the left and which is right side of the road
— The Somnambulist (@sotachetan) June 1, 2021
The best policy for Wasooli. Mumbai Police can decide which one is right side shop and which one is left on a whim by changing the side they entered the street from. https://t.co/qibtVcUHYK— Sensei Kraken Zero (@YearOfTheKraken) May 31, 2021
And the saga begins in Maharashtra! Complicated rules = max. Confusion! Kiska right side? Kiska left side? Akhir Kehna kya chahte Ho?! #Maharashtra #maharastralockdown #Mumbai https://t.co/kLddRvToGi pic.twitter.com/AZNZLA8Wn5— Nishad Kulkarni (@nishadkulkarni) May 31, 2021
The new rules were announced as part of an order issued under the ‘Break the Chain’ initiative which also permitted the distribution of non-essential items along with essential ones under e-commerce. Non-essential shops can function between 7 am to 2 pm on alternate days from Monday to Friday.
“Next week, the shops on the left side of the road will be open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while the shops on the right will be open on Tuesday and Thursday," the order stated, adding that the same arrangement will continue for the weeks ahead.
The BMC also stated that these orders will be applicable until the directives issued by the state government under ‘Break The Chain’ remain in force.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government on Sunday extended the lockdown-like curbs till June 15 and also announced that relaxations will be granted depending upon the Covid-19 positivity rate and availability of oxygen beds.
(With inputs from PTI)