‘Newspaper stall sales as usual, avoid home delivery’

Team Udayavani, Apr 19, 2020, 8:26 AM IST

Mumbai: The sale of newspapers, magazines and productions is allowed at stalls and shops established for the purpose but the print media sector has been asked to avoid home deliveries, the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Office said in a series of tweets on Saturday.

The state government whole-heartedly supports the media and seeks its cooperation to combat the coronavirus outbreak, it said.

“We urge the media to refrain from home deliveries. We wholeheartedly support the media and look up to it for suggestions and objections. However, in times of such a pandemic, where we genuinely are in need to reduce footfalls and increase safety, most economic operations are facing tough times,” the CMO statement said.

“Media has withstood the test of time. Truth can never be stifled. We request its cooperation for the same,” an official statement quoted the CM as saying.

It said the state government wants to ensure safety for the people from a virus that has engulfed the world, adding that media has been extremely supportive of the efforts to contain the outbreak

Referring to criticism of the notification prohibiting door-to-door deliveries, it said clarity on unnecessary confusion is needed.

“Both print and electronic media are allowed to operate with basic operational number of staff in these times of fighting coronavirus,” it said.

The CM has spoken to newspaper owners and editors and they have agreed to cooperate, a statement from Thackeray’s aide Harshal Pradhan said.

Earlier in the day, the state government decided to stop door-to-door delivery of newspapers and magazines to contain the spread of coronavirus infection in the state, which is worst-affected by the pandemic.

The government had also issuedconsolidated guidelines to control the spread of the pandemic and gave details about the services which will be partially resumed from April 20.

In view of the guidelines, senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis asked the Shiv Sena-led state government to revisit its decision to prohibit the door-to-door delivery of newspapers and magazines during the ongoing lockdown period.

In his letter to the Chief Minister, the Leader of Opposition said the government’s decision will defeat the very purpose of printing newspapers.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has made it clear that newspapers are safe from coronavirus,” the former chief minister said, adding that newspapers must reach people in the time of proliferation of fake news.

Condemning the state government’s order, Mumbai Press Clubsaid the order to stop door to door delivery of newspapers is uncalled for, especially when reports say that newspapers don’t causeinfection.

“We appeal to the state government to rethink on its decision and not bleed the media industry to death,” the statement said.

The Mantralaya and Vidhimandal VartaharSangh said the notification prohibiting door to door delivery of newspapers and magazines was “injustice” to the print media, and demanded its withdrawal.

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