Chandigarh wants weekend curfew in tricity, Punjab says no
The UT administration’s proposal for imposing weekend curfew in tricity has been turned down by the Punjab government, while Haryana’s response is awaited.
UT adviser Manoj Kumar Parida had on Monday written to the chief secretaries of Punjab and Haryana, seeking their consent and opinion on imposing weekend curfew in the tricity, a decision taken in the war-room meeting to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
The proposal was mooted taking into account the spike in cases in July. In Chandigarh, cases reported in the first 20 days of July are more than double the cases reported in June. So far in July, 297 persons have tested positive, while in June the figure was 146.
In the letter, the UT had proposed imposing curfew in the tricity (Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula), from 7pm (Friday) up to 6 am (Monday).
Parida said the UT officials considered to take on both Punjab and Haryana on board “since weekend curfew only in Chandigarh will not be effective, unless it is simultaneously imposed in Mohali and Panchkula” .
Confirming the development, Parida said, “Punjab has said no. Haryana, initially said no, but later, said they would be putting it up to chief minister. They are also reluctant.”
In this regard, Raveen Thukral, media adviser to Punjab CM, tweeted, “Clarifying that Capt Amrinder-led Punjab government has not so far accepted UT administration’s proposal to impose weekend curfew (Friday evening to Monday morning) in tricity.”
Significantly, in Mohali, curfew from Saturday evening to early Monday morning is already in force.
Meanwhile, the Haryana government as well is not keen to impose weekend curfew in Panchkula. Top officials said chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar had considered the issue of imposing a fresh lockdown or curfew in the national capital region (NCR) districts and elsewhere, but decided against it.
“The state is instead focusing on ensuring social distancing measures, inculcate the habit of mask wearing among people, observe safe practices at workplace and more sampling, including rapid antigen. This is our approach in the NCR districts and elsewhere,’’ said an official.
Khattar had said on Sunday that the government is pursuing an aggressive strategy in the containment zones whereby they screen more people and conduct higher testing since infections were being reported from only certain small pockets in every district.
Now, the UT administration will take a final call on Wednesday whether to impose weekend curfew in Chandigarh, said Parida.
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