Token system at Sukhna, other popular spots likely

Crowds at popular spots in Chandigarh are making health and administrative officials jittery as social distancing and other safety norms are not being followed, underlining the need for restricting entry
Walkers at Sukhna Lake after lockdown restrictions following the Covid-19 outbreak were eased.(HT photo)
Walkers at Sukhna Lake after lockdown restrictions following the Covid-19 outbreak were eased.(HT photo)
Updated on Jul 21, 2020 11:24 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | ByMunieshwer A Sagar, Chandigarh

In a bid to stop overcrowding of public spaces such as the Sukhna Lake, parks and shopping malls, the UT administration is exploring the feasibility of starting a token system for restricted entry.

Health and administrative officials are getting jittery with the heavy rush at the lake, especially on weekends, and parks following easing of lockdown restrictions imposed after the Covid-19 outbreak, with social distancing and other safety norms going for a toss.

Confirming the UT move, Manoj Parida, UT adviser, says, “We will discuss in the war room meeting the restrictions that can be imposed on the number of people and might introduce a coupon system for people’s entry.”

Ruling out a complete ban on crowds, however, Parida adds, “These are open spaces, better suited for social distancing. If we ban this than people don’t have any alternative for exercise, as gyms and other indoor exercise spaces are already banned. Also, a ban on parks, open spaces hasn’t happened anywhere in the country or even the world after lockdown restrictions have been removed.”

Medical experts to be consulted

The administration will first consult medical experts on the number of the people that can be allowed at public areas after which it will regulate entry.

“At the entry, officials will issue one coupon per person, on a first come first serve basis, till the stipulated limit is exhausted,” adds Parida.

Local area councillor Maheshinder Sidhu, a regular at the Sukhna Lake, says the crowds have doubled since the period before the Covid-19 outbreak. “The number of youngsters coming to the lake has increased as gyms are shut. They do strenuous exercises and rarely wear masks. Even while jogging they don’t cover use face masks,” he adds.

“Since people are walking in both directions it is also hard to maintain a six-foot distance,” he says.

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Saturday, November 27, 2021