Nearly four months after the lockdown, the Maharashtra government on Monday permitted all hotels, lodges, guest-houses, resorts, and others providing accommodation services to welcome guests again from Wednesday, but operating at only 33 per cent capacity.
While malls have not been allowed to restart since some are being used partially (33 per cent) as quarantine centres, the government has permitted the local authorities to utilise even the balance (67 per cent) for isolation purposes if required.
The development came a day after top representatives of the hotel industry called on Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and discussed ways and means to restart the crucial sector which contributed 10 per cent to the national GDP and accounts for 12.50 per cent of the employment in the country.
#MissionBeginAgain Phase V will start from July 8 (Wednesday) outside specified Covid-19 containment zones all over the state, including all municipal jurisdictions of Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune Metropolitan Region, and Solapur, Aurangabad, Nashik, Malegaon, Dhule, Jalgaon, Akola, Amravati and Nagpur.
Incidentally, a majority of these like Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Aurangabad, Nashik, Jalgaon, Akola have reported the highest number of Covid deaths and cases.
Hotels will now be required to maintain physical distancing among staff/guests with markings for queues and suitably configure seating arrangements, restrict the number of people in elevators with compulsory thermal screening at entrances to restrict the entry of any symptomatic persons.
Reception spaces must have a glass shield, sanitisers to be made freely available all over the hotel, the management must implement ‘contact-less’ procedures like QR codes, online forms, digital payments, etc for check-in/check-out, placing orders, etc.
Air conditioning will have to be maintained at 24-30 degrees with 40-70 per cent humidity range with adequate cross-ventilation and maximum fresh air intake.
For all those asymptomatic guests permitted, wearing of face mask is compulsory always within the hotel premises, along with installation of Aarogya Setu app, full details of their travel history, medical condition, and minimise use of housekeeping services.
For eating on the premises, the government has stipulated e-menus, disposable paper napkins, encourage room-service or takeaways instead of dine-in, with seating arrangements configured to ensure physical distancing.
While swimming pools, gyms, gaming arcades, children’s areas will remain closed, meeting halls with 33 per cent capacity or maximum 15 persons shall be allowed.
The government has also mandated other strict measures for cleaning, sanitisation and disinfecting the hotel premises and rooms, and the protocols to be followed in case a guest falls ill or any suspect/confirmed Covid-19 case is located on the premises.
Ex-Maharashtra CM Shivajirao Patil-Nilangekar dies at 90
Veteran Congressman and former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shivajirao Patil-Nilangekar, died due to old-age related problems in Pune on Wednesday, family sources said here. He was 90.
Last month, Patil-Nilangekar tested Covid-19 positive and fully recovered from it.
He is survived by four sons Dilip, Ashok, Vijay, Sharad, and a daughter Chandrakala Dawle, besides grandchildren including two who are Bharatiya Janata Party politicians.
Born in Nilanga village in the erstwhile Hyderabad State, Patil-Nilangekar took part in the Indian Freedom struggle and later served as the 10th Chief Minister of Maharashtra between June 1985-March 1986.
However, he was forced to resign following Bombay High Court strictures in the MD exams marks scandal involving his daughter.
A voracious reader, classical music lover and sport enthusiast, in 1968, he had founded the Maharashtra Education Trust which runs over two dozen schools, colleges and specialized education institutions
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray expressed his condolences, describing Patil-Nilangekar as “a leader who connected and guided two generations” making immense contributions to the development of the state.
“A freedom fighter with commitment and firm views, he is among the leaders who were at the forefront of the state’s development and progress of the Marathwada region,” said Thackeray.
Deputy Chief Minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar said Patil-Nilangekar’s life symbolized the struggle through which he came up and the state has lost a stalwart who helped build up the state with his strong political and intellectual leadership.
Congress state President and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said that in Patil-Nilangekar’s demise, the state has lost “a visionary and a disciplined leader” who strived for the state’s development.
BJP Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said Patil-Nilangekar fought for the country’s freedom and was recognized as a staunch and dedicated leader.
NCP President Sharad Pawar and a former CM, described Patil-Nilangekar as a tough, no-nonsense leader who created several educational institutions to provide good education to the youth in rural areas.
Other former CMs like Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan in separate messages, have condoled the demise of Patil-Nilangekar.
Promote Sanskrit as global language: Maharashtra Governor
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
Describing Sanskrit as the “mother of Indian languages” and repository of wisdom in many disciplines, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Tuesday called for making efforts to promote it among the youth and students as a ‘world language’.
“Merely singing praises of Sanskrit will not suffice to preserve and promote the language. We must bring the language into practical use,” urged the Governor while inaugurating a national webinar on ‘Sanskrit: Origin of All Languages: Its Past and Present Relevence’.
Crediting the ancient language with keeping India united for many centuries, Koshyari said that the Sanskrit mantras sung in all corners of the country, including at Rameshwaram, Jagannath Puri, Badrinath-Kedarnath and even at the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu (Nepal), underscore the unifying character of the language.
The Governor pointed out that while many modern European languages have literature dating back to only 500 years, Sanskrit has literature dating back millennia.
Koshyari also appealed to scholars to undertake research about the science of sound and music associated with Sanskrit language.
The webinar was organised by the School of Language and Literature of the Punyashlok Ahilyadevi Holkar Solapur University (PAHSU).
Among those who attended the webinar included PAHSU Vice Chancellor Mrinalini Fadnavis and Pro-VC Debendranath Mishra, Kavi Kulguru Kalidas Sanskrit University Vice-Chancellor Shrinivasa Varakhedi, Deccan Deemed University Acting V-C Prasad Joshi, 800 principals, teachers and students from across the country.
People in glass houses shouldn’t pelt stones: Sanjay Raut
In a loaded hint, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said “people living in glass houses shouldn’t pelt stones”, while commenting on the Sushant Singh Rajput case, here on Monday.
“I was watching a Raaj Kumar film and just recalled his famed dialogue that “those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. I like Raaj Kumar. Nobody should point fingers,” Raut said with a telling smile.
The reference was to the legendary actor’s immortal lines in the blockbuster musical film “Waqt” (1965) – “Jinke apne ghar sheeshe ke ho, Wo doosron par patthar nahi fenka karte”.
Comparing the Mumbai Police with the best like Scotland Yard, Raut said that “nobody can comment on the matter when the police probe is underway”.
“Let’s have faith in the Mumbai Police. They are doing a good job, they are competent and are compared with Scotland Yard. The probe must continue in a free and fair manner,” he urged, after a volley of questions on the Sushant case investigations.
His comments came shortly after the Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh ruled out the involvement of any prominent state political personality in the case.
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