Weekend curfew to continue in Chandigarh
The Chandigarh administration has imposed a one-time lockdown in the city on Wednesday and also decided to continue with the weekend curfew.
Meanwhile, the night curfew timings have been extended by two hours. It will now begin at 8pm, instead of 10pm, and stay in force till 5am.
The decisions were taken during the Covid-19 review meeting on Tuesday, at a time when Chandigarh has recorded 600+ cases for third consecutive day.
The Wednesday lockdown decision came a day after Punjab agreed and Haryana refused to the Chandigarh administration’s proposal of imposing pan-tricity lockdown on Ram Navami. While Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday announced a one-day lockdown in Mohali for Wednesday, Haryana home minister Anil Vij had stated that the state government will not take any such step.
“After a detailed discussion, we decided it was time to impose a lockdown as cases have been rising sharply. Even Union home secretary in a meeting on Tuesday asked for stricter imposition of restrictions,” said UT adviser Manoj Parida.
Restrictions and exemptions
On Wednesday, all non-essential movement has been prohibited, as was done during the curfew imposed last weekend.
The lockdown will start from 10pm on Tuesday and stay in force till 5am on Thursday.
All essential commodity shops and restaurants will be allowed to remain open. However, only home delivery will be allowed. These include shops and vendors dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetable, dairy, meat, animal fodder, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.
For the home delivery staff, their identity card will suffice for movement. As seen during the weekend curfew, even domestic helps are expected to face no issue in going for work.
All private offices will remain closed, and only industries manufacturing essential products, such as masks, sanitisers and medicines, can operate.
All marriage functions for which the permission has been taken from the subdivisional magistrate are allowed, subject to the cap of 50 people.
The marriage organisers or other people seeking movement pass may contact on 0172-2700076 and 0172-2700341 or apply online on www.admser.chd.nic/dpc. All passes related to the Punjab and Haryana high court and district court will be issued by the registrar general of the court.
All vaccination centres, testing centres, dispensaries and medical facilities will remain open and people going there will be allowed to move. All interstate travellers will also be allowed to move, though there will be screening at the airport, railway station and bus stands.
Those tasked with law and order, Covid-19 duties and emergency and municipal services besides accredited media persons are also exempted on production of identity card.
Weekend curbs from 8pm on Friday
Meanwhile, the weekend lockdown will be enforced from 8pm on Friday to 5am on Monday, with the same of set of restrictions and exemptions.
The administration will also be taking up a proposal for a weeklong lockdown during the Covid-19 review meeting on Friday.
UT administrator VP Singh Badnore directed the police to be extremely strict in enforcing the lockdown and night curfew. If necessary, the vehicles should be seized and heavy fine should be imposed on those indulging in non-essential travel or violating the Covid-19 safety protocol, he said.
Last weekend, 23 people were arrested for curfew violation and 182 were fined for not adhering to Covid guidelines amid high compliance.
Badnore directed the municipal commissioner to ensure that the protocol is strictly followed at all markets, including apni mandis, and all public places are regularly sanitised. He also appealed to public representatives, resident welfare associations and market associations to persuade all eligible residents to get vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal has denounced the Wednesday lockdown as a step taken in hurry and without taking into confidence the stakeholders, predominantly the traders. Charanjiv Singh, president, Beopar Mandal, said: “We will hold a meeting on Thursday to decide ways of protest and stop further lockdowns.”
HS Lucky, Congress chief spokesperson, said, “The Chandigarh administration’s decision to impose lockdown on Ram Navami is completely wrong. This is not a solution to the pandemic, but affects the livelihood of all people.”
Chandigarh temples closed for devotees today
Hindu Parv Mahasabha chief BP Arora said: “We decided to ban the entry of devotees for their own safety even before the lockdown was officially declared in Chandigarh. Even during Navratras, people were allowed to visit temples in small numbers and all functions and gatherings had been cancelled.”
Shyam Sunder, joint secretary of Sri Laxmi Narayan Temple, Sector 20, said: “It’s the right decision to impose a lockdown on Ram Navami. To restrict entry or to ask people to wear masks would have led to unpleasantness, but now the temple will be closed as there is a lockdown.”
Meanwhile, as there is no lockdown in Panchkula on Wednesday, district magistrate Mukul Kumar issued guidelines for prayers at Mata Mansa Devi Temple.
While wearing masks and maintaining social distancing is mandatory, there will be no mass congregation. Even physical offerings and sprinkling of holy water won’t be allowed.
The temple management has been asked to use coupons for regulating the entry of devotees, not allowing more than 20 at a time for pooja. The civil surgeon has been directed to conduct random sampling of devotees.
In Mohali, Chhatbir Zoo closed for a day too
In Mohali, too, only shops providing essential items will remain open on Wednesday, while people have been advised to carry their identity cards while moving out for work and important errands.
All kinds of gatherings are also banned, said deputy commissioner Girish Dayalan.
Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, popularly known as Chhatbir Zoo, will also remain closed on Wednesday.
According to a press release, the zoo will also remain closed for visitors every Sunday and Monday till further orders.