Lockdown to continue in Chandigarh till May 25
Decision to extend curbs by another week comes in the backdrop of strong opposition from traders, who were demanding relaxations such odd-even formula for opening non-essential shops
The Chandigarh administration on Monday extended the lockdown in the city by another week, without giving any relaxations.
The decision was taken in the Covid review meeting chaired by UT administrator VP Singh Badnore. The lockdown, which was to end on Tuesday morning, will now continue till 5am on May 25.
A UT spokesperson said the decision was taken “so that the gain of plateauing of case load due to the lockdown is not lost (sic).”
The move comes in the backdrop of strong opposition from the business community, which was demanding some relaxations, such as implementation of the odd-even formula for opening non-essential shops.
“It is a tough time for traders, as we have to pay taxes and give salaries to our staff too even though our shops continue to remain closed,” said Sanjeev Chadha, general secretary, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal. “Why can’t markets in the city open on the odd-even format, as in Mohali?”
Chandigarh Beopar Mandal president Charan Jiv Singh said they will hold peaceful protests from Wednesday, which will be launched from the market in Sector 23.
Kamaljit Singh Panchhi, president, Chandigarh Traders Association, Sector 17, also opposed the move, and demanded a relief package for the city’s traders. Vyapar Sadan president Arvind Jain sent a list of suggestions to the administrator on how markets can be opened in a phased manner to prevent overcrowding.
DC to meet trader bodies
In order to assuage the business community, the deputy commissioner will meet the representatives of various associations to solicit their views and suggestions regarding relief that could be provided to them due to losses being suffered during the lockdown.
Badnore appealed to the landlords of small residential houses to voluntarily reduce house rents for the lockdown period, in order to give relief to their tenants, who have lost their income, and prevent their migration.
Even Punjab and Haryana governments had extended the lockdown on Sunday. It will remain in force till 5am on May 24 in Haryana and till May 31 in Punjab.