A security guard makes an announcement for social distancing outside Elante Mall in Chandigarh.(HT Photo)
A security guard makes an announcement for social distancing outside Elante Mall in Chandigarh.(HT Photo)

HT Chandigarh Readers’ Take: Coordination is key to unlockdown

The number of Covid-19 cases is shooting up in the tricity, proving that restrictions are not working. So, closing malls in Punjab on weekends and opening them in Chandigarh instead will not help and only lead to large crowds gathering at one place, facing the risk of infection. A coordinated plan between tricity authorities to open shops, malls and later educational institutions will make life easier for residents, say readers
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON SEP 05, 2020 12:00 AM IST

Lockdown has outlived its utility

Despite the lockdown since March 2020, India is now among the countries with the highest number of cases and the tricity is no exception with 12,000 infections and 200 deaths until Friday. This proves that the lockdown has outlived its value. So, all business activities with educational institutions should be reopened in a graded manner to move towards normalcy as is happening the world over. In areas with a high number of cases, symptomatic patients should be treated at home or hospital depending on the degree of severity of infection. Safety measures such as wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing and increased testing should be implemented strictly.
SK Khosla,
Chandigarh

Tricity residents feel they live in one big city

For all practical purposes, local residents consider all three towns as one with people crossing the borders regularly for work, entertainment and other reasons, not restricting movement to just one place. Any strategy to control spread of Covid19 has to take into account its effectiveness for adjoining towns. People tend to visit malls on a weekend or holiday, and in case there’s lockdown in one area, they will need to travel further ahead for essential purchases. This should be avoided at any cost.
DS Banati,
Mohal

Chandigarh’s rules should apply to others

Chandigarh is also the capital of the tricity, hence restrictions and relaxations related to locking, unlocking, fixing operating hours of malls, restaurants and markets should be the same in all three cities. Any changes planned by the Mohali and Panchkula administrations should be coordinated with the Chandigarh administration.
Subhash Chugh

Impose strict safety measures in all malls

The authorities should work together now with the firm resolve to control and vanquish Covid-19. Strict policies to impose safety measures should be enforced in all tricity malls and markets, and timings restricted. An odd-even plan should also be implemented on all floors of malls. Mall parking contractors should ensure social distancing and wearing of face masks and gloves.
Sumesh Kumar Badhwar
, Mohali

Set up a joint panel

The need of the hour is to set up a joint panel of top bureaucrats and stakeholders from Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali to take unanimous decisions, thereby benefiting the residents in general. Usually the workplace and residence for most of the citizens are in two different cities and, therefore, a coordinated lockdown will help in controlling infections.
Avik Seth
, Zirakpur

Control crowds coming into Chandigarh

Covid-19 cases are now peaking in the tricity with new records of infections and deaths being set each day. The situation is alarming as almost all the sectors in Chandigarh have reported infections. The director of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research had also warned about cases peaking in September and October with a warning to all residents to follow precautionary measures prescribed by the authorities. With almost no restrictions in Chandigarh or Panchkula, people from across Punjab are driving in to enjoy late night sessions in bars/malls or during weekends. Therefore, a decision on issuing imposing rules uniformly is required in the tricity.
Suresh Verma
, Chandigarh

People, authorities
can coordinate efforts

One feels dejected seeing that people are not taking this pandemic seriously, crowding markets and throwing garbage everywhere at will, even when all of us should understand the importance of keeping our homes and our surroundings clean during the pandemic. People of the tricity as well as the authorities should make coordinated efforts to take safety measures. First of all people should stay at home in case they do not have urgent work. Shops should observe social distancing and sanitise all products. Opening of malls and markets can be planned better with restricted entry and that too after thorough sanitisation. A large part of the population should have daily temperature and oximeter checks.
Ishita Nara

Better liaison required between authorities

Like crime, Covid knows no barriers and boundaries, so why should lockdown rules vary in the tricity? The alarming surge in Covid-19 cases requires synergistic strategies to thwart it.Thousands of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula residents commute daily within the tricity but multiplicity of power centres create different sets of curbs and relaxations, confusing the public. At times different political dispensations at the helm act on extraneous considerations, even flout the Centre’s guidelines. It is prudent that Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula (with Chandigarh as coordinator) nominate their respective representatives to liaise for uniform rules in the tricity. Better and quicker communication can help officials, the press and the public at large to spread awareness about the disease and lockdown or unlockdown measures.People should visit malls and markets only if necessary as these are no picnic spots.Only genuine customers can give a boost to business.
Lalit Bharadwaj
, Panchkula

Appoint one special officer to oversee rules

Different political parties rule Chandigarh’s neighbouring states so this is bound to lead to lack of coordination between the authorities. One set of rule in one city and another in the other is leading to confusion and harassment of the public. The Centre should appoint one special officer to oversee all the unlockdown rules in the tricity. The residents don’t need unnecessary harassment at this point.
Avinash Goyal
, Chandigarh

Encourage home delivery of goods

Traders,vendors and restaurateurs of the tricity have suffered heavy losses during the lockdown, so even though shops are shut down on weekends, arrangements should be made to ensure home delivery of goods.
Usha Verma
, Chandigarh

Promote products online

First of all, the masses should understand the gravity of the situation and step out of their homes only in an emergency, and that too after following protocols. Shopkeepers must restrict the entry of a specific number of persons at a time. A person should be recruited to sanitize customers’ hands at entry and exit points of malls, restaurants and other spots. The government should enforce stricter checks on shopkeepers when it comes to safety protocols (wearing masks, regular sanitisation of shops) as many of them seem to be neglecting their duties. Rule breakers should be penalised. Restaurants, bars and discotheques can allow entry by advance bookings only. Shopkeepers should promote their products online or by text messages or by social, electronic and print media and encourage customers to avail facilities of home delivery.
Abhilasha Gupta
, Mohali

Don’t allow crowds to collect at one place

All three cities, Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali have reported a steep rise in cases so opening of malls and markets should also be done uniformly as one mall open in a city will attract people from the other where shops are closed. The administrations of all three cities should get together to chalk up an unlockdown plan that works for all. Priyam Aggarwal,
Chandigarh

Strengthen the weaker links of the chain

While joining of hands by tricity authorities to enforce uniform lockdown norms may or may not control the rapid spread of the pandemic, what surely can work is the rigid enforcement of existing norms of wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. Yes, people are flouting norms, but there is hardly anyone to stop them from doing so. Despite having announced penalty for not sticking to safety norms, the tricity hardly has any law enforcement personnel to keep an eye on offenders. These are the weak links in the chain which require immediate attention to check the virus spread.
SC Luthra
, Chandigarh

Set up tricity development board

The creation of a Northern Zonal Council had been a landmark step for the macro-development of north India, but for the micro-development of the tricity, a co-ordinated approach is required between UT, Punjab and Haryana. A tricity development board (TRIDEV) should be set up. As the tricity is the gateway to the heart of north India, TRIDEV will undertake and oversee developments and infrastructure in Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali, Zirakpur, Dera Bassi, Kharar and the peripheries. It should be the highest decision making body for infrastructure in/around Chandigarh. This will enable overall development of around 50 kilometres around Chandigarh. Health services provided by government hospitals too should be overseen by the board.
Rajiv Boolchand Jain

Share revenues, infrastructure

The UT administration, Punjab and Haryana should push for a single governing body which takes care of transportation, health infrastructure, industries, tourism and all other sectors of the three cities. A separate budget should be allocated for the tricity with all three sharing profits from revenues. More “joint ventures” should be planned, with food and entertainment hubs, organic vegetable bazaars, the works. An honest has to be made to help the tricity recover from Covid.
J Ravindran
, Mohali

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