75% drop in footfall at Rock Garden, Sukhna

Capitol Complex, a world heritage site that sees on an average 50 visitors daily, has not seen a single foreign tourist in the past couple of days.
Rock Garden wearing a deserted look on Saturday. Only 3,000 tickets were sold during the day, down from 12,000 daily. At Sukhna Lake, too, just 170 people went for boating, down from 500.(HT PHOTO)
Rock Garden wearing a deserted look on Saturday. Only 3,000 tickets were sold during the day, down from 12,000 daily. At Sukhna Lake, too, just 170 people went for boating, down from 500.(HT PHOTO)
Updated on Mar 15, 2020 12:44 AM IST
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ByRachna Verma

Amid coronavirus outbreak, all tourist spots in Chandigarh have witnessed a sharp drop in footfall, even as no positive case has been reported in the city and its surrounding areas yet.

Capitol Complex, a world heritage site that sees on an average 50 visitors daily, has not seen a single foreign tourist in the past couple of days. According to data available with the tourist information centre, only a couple of domestic tourists have visited the compound designed by Le Corbusier and spread over 100 acres.

Even the iconic twin tourist destinations of Sukhna Lake and Rock Garden saw up to 75% dip in footfall on Saturday. Only 170 people went for boating at Sukhna, as compared to 500 seen on previous weekends. At Rock Garden, too, only 3,000 tickets were sold, down from 12,000 on an average daily.

Rock Garden member secretary CB Ojha said the footfall has been largely hit not because of foreign and domestic tourists, but locals who are avoiding to visit public places in view of
Covid-19.

Movie halls shut in Mohali, business as usual in UT, P’kula

Even as all movie halls, gyms and swimming pools have been ordered to shut down in Mohali, following statewide orders issued by the Punjab government on Saturday, no such decision has been taken in Chandigarh and Panchkula yet.

“Executive officers of all municipal corporations and municipal councils have been directed to ensure the closure,” said Aashika Jain, officiating deputy commissioner, Mohali.

The order doesn’t cover shopping malls. However, malls in Mohali have started taking precautionary measures and are scanning and sanitising customers at the entrance. “We have also increased the frequency of cleaning bathrooms and common areas,” said Rishab Mehrotra, centre head, VR Punjab. “Sanitisers have been provided at all places and the staff has been provided with masks as well as scanners to ensure that visitors are allowed on the mall premises only after proper scanning and sanitisation, as a precautionary measure.”

Mehrotra added that closure of cinema halls in the mall will lead to a considerable loss of revenue.

At Elante Mall in Chandigarh, “presently there is not much decrease in the footfall as the PVR Cinemas are still open”.

“But the safety of our patrons, retailers and staff is of utmost importance and we are taking all necessary precautions. We are awaiting further directions from the local authorities and we will strictly abide by them and act immediately,” said the Elante spokesperson.

Chandigarh deputy commissioner Mandip Brar said there was no decision on closure of cinema halls yet. In Panchkula, too, there is business as usual at the two cinema halls – Rajhans Cinemas in Sector 5 and Inox Theatre at Amravati Enclave.

Meanwhile, traders have witnessed a drop in footfall. Chandigarh Business Council president Neeraj Bajaj, whose shop is in Sector 17, said: “Our sales dropped by around 50% on Saturday.”

(With inputs from Mohali and Panchkula)

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021