Chandigarh: Many bars still closed, but Sukhna Lake, Elante Mall report good response
Even though the Chandigarh administration has allowed bars in the city to reopen with up to 50% seating capacity, many outlets remained closed on Tuesday even as a moderate rush of people was seen at the Sukhna Lake and at the Elante Mall.
Chapter head of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) and proprietor of Pyramid at Elante Mall, Sunveer Sondhi, said, “We welcome the orders of the Chandigarh administration, but we didn’t open on Tuesday. Most of the staff had gone back to their native villages, so many places are facing manpower crunch.” He added that they will open within the next few days.
President of the Chandigarh Restaurants and Hotels Association and proprietor of Hotel Metro in Sector 43, Arvinder Pal Singh, said, “The staff haven’t been paid for April in many places and with bank instalments and EMIs pending, many places will first see what kind of a response bars receive before recalling their staff back in full strength.”
While Social in Sector 7 opened up on Tuesday, director Manish Goel said, “Social had remained open for deliveries due to which we already had some staff at hand, which is why we were able to reopen from Tuesday itself.”
Since it was one of the few bars open in the city, Goel reported that many customers had to be turned away due to the 50% occupancy limit enforced by the administration.
Residents come for morning walk at Sukhna
Many morning walkers were seen on Tuesday morning as the Sukhna Lake opened up for visitors. UT adviser Manoj Parida was also spotted in the morning, walking with a cane and clicking pictures.
Many of the old regulars, however, said they will wait a few days before returning back to their schedule. As per Ajay Jagga, who would earlier come for walks everyday: “Just because the government has given us some relaxations doesn’t mean we should abuse them. People should still exercise restraint and avoid going out until its necessary.”
Local area councillor Maheshinder Sidhu, who is also a regular here, said, “Morning walkers are well disciplined and the lake should have been opened from 6 to 9 in the morning earlier, too. I will ask that this be done during the Sunday lockdown now.” Officials of the Sukhna Lake police post confirmed that despite patrolling, no challans were issued for not wearing masks or not maintaining social distancing.
Elante Mall reports good footfall
Shopping malls were also allowed to open, and officials at the Elante Mall said that the numbers on Tuesday were encouraging. Salim Roopani, centre director, Elante Mall, said, “We are delighted that the Chandigarh administration granted us permission to reopen. The mall was opened at 10am after sanitisation, and over 90% of the stores were opened which will go to 100% by the weekend. By the evening, over 9,000 people had visited the mall.” Floor Covid wardens were also seen with signages and a police team was present to issue challans to those without masks.