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Restaurants allow dine-in, locals complain

According to locals, customers regularly come and dine inside restaurants without wearing masks and violate social distancing norms

Updated: Sep 18, 2020, 18:11 IST

By Dheeraj Bengrut, Hindustan Times Pune

Police officials seen at a hotel in Sarasbaug in Pune on Thursday. (Sanket Wankhade/HT PHOTO)

Even though the state government has not taken decision about reopening of restaurants for dine-in in light of growing Covid-19 cases, many eateries in the city are allowing customers to eat inside the premises.

Some of the restaurant owners were found running their establishments throughout the day till late night violating Covid-19 guidelines, rules and regulations for safety measures. Residents of Rasta peth and Sarasbaug area claimed that despite repeated complaints, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and police department have not taken any action against such restaurants.

When contacted, Pune city police commissioner K Venkatesham said, “The restaurant owners are not allowed to restart their operations for dine-in. Only parcel services are allowed in view of the Covid pandemic. I will check these spots and action will be taken against the violators.”

According to locals, customers regularly come and dine inside restaurants without wearing masks and violate social distancing norms.



One such hotspot is ‘Khau Galli’ in Rasta peth, which is located in front of KEM hospital which has Covid patients. Some of the snack centres and restaurants in this Khau Galli lane are illegally serving customers inside their restaurants. Daily food hawkers are also operating their business on the footpaths leading to a lot of rush and in violating social distancing norms.

“Daily hundreds of people come here to eat food from the stalls set up by the hawkers and also inside the restaurants. Most of them even don’t wear masks and still no action has been taken against them. Some of us residents tried to tell the restaurants to keep the customer service closed as it is not yet allowed officially, but they didn’t respond to us. This is leading to the spread of the Sars-Cov-2 virus which causes the Covid-19 infection and police should take strict action against them,” said Ganpat Bhalerao, a resident of Rasta peth.

A similar scene is witnessed at Sarasbaug Chaupati, where there are at least 50 hotels. It is located close to the Sanas Ground Covid testing centre and the quarantine centre for Covid positive patients. Restaurants here openly run their premises with customers coming in, sitting inside and food is being served to them. Sagar Abnawe, a resident of Sarasbaug area, said, “The number of Covid-19 positive cases are increasing in the city, and this is due to the careless attitude of the people. At Sarasbaug Chaupati, we daily see people coming here for lunch and dinner. Restaurants are running their business illegally and no action is taken against them. Sarasbaug Garden is closed, inside the temple is closed, but outside restaurants are open.”

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