No Covid lockdown in Chandigarh this weekend

With Haryana deciding to allow shops to open on weekends in the state, UT adviser Manoj Parida says lockdown restrictions won’t work unless the tricity is closed
Shops and malls will be open in Chandigarh on August 29 and 30. The UT administration took the decision after the Haryana government decided to allow shops to stay open in neighbouring Panchkula.(Keshav Singh/HT file photo)
Shops and malls will be open in Chandigarh on August 29 and 30. The UT administration took the decision after the Haryana government decided to allow shops to stay open in neighbouring Panchkula.(Keshav Singh/HT file photo)
Published on Aug 28, 2020 04:50 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | ByHT Correspondent

Chandigarh: The Chandigarh administration on Friday decided that there will be no weekend lockdown in the Union Territory. Shops and malls will remain open on Saturday and Sunday.

The administration, however, decided to continue with the odd-even system that is operational in the city’s 11 congested markets.

These decisions were taken at the war room review meeting on Friday.

Reacting to weekend restrictions imposed in Punjab and Haryana in the wake of surge in Covid-19 cases, the UT had on August 21 ordered the closure of all shops and malls on Saturday and Sunday in the city.

With the Haryana government on Friday deciding to allow shops to open on weekends in the state, the UT also decided to follow it in Chandigarh.

UT adviser Manoj Parida, said, “Haryana has opened its markets on Saturday and Sunday. The lockdown restrictions in the city won’t work unless the tricity (of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali) is closed.”

Withdrawing the order on weekend closure of shops, Haryana has directed the closing of shops and malls on Monday and Tuesday instead. But the UT will not follow suit in this regard, Parida said.

Stating that there is no proof that only markets spread coronavirus infection, Parida, said, “How long can restrictions go on? Our literate residents have got the message to behave hygienically.”

PRESSURE FROM TRADERS

The revival of economy and trade in the city also weighed in favour of the administration’s decision to allow the opening of shops and markets on weekends.

The UT’s August 21 decision to shut shops on weekends had come under criticism from traders, who held protests and submitted memoranda to the administration. Traders said the weekend lockdown along with the odd-even system was causing loss to them.

Trader bodies welcomed the administration’s decision on the withdrawal of the weekend lockdown. Charanjiv Singh, the chairman of Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, said, “There is no rush in the markets on both weekdays and weekends as the footfall has come down to 25% as compared to pre-Covid days. So, social distancing can be easily maintained. We also want the odd-even system withdrawn, too.”

At present, the odd-even system is operational in the electronics market in Sector 18, Sector 8 internal market, Patel Market in Sector 15, Palika Bazaar and Sadar Market in Sector 19, Azad Market and Palace Market in Sector 20, Booth Market in Sector 21, Shastri Market in Sector 22, Janta Market in Sector 27, Krishna Market in Sector 41 and market area near the old PNB Bank/Bihari Garment, Burail Chowk. The basements of seven shops in the mobile market will continue to remain closed, while the scooter market of Sector 43 will remain closed on Sunday.

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