After 40 days, Lucknow springs back to life
LUCKNOW: The city of nawabs sprang back to life on Wednesday as the district administration lifted the 40-day-long Covid curfew. To note, the curbs were eased as the number of Covid cases came down below 600.
Barring multiplexes, single screen cinema halls and gyms, all other establishments, including offices, metro services, hangout joints, markets, parks and roads are now open.
“Since the number of Covid cases has gone down, , we have decided to lift Covid curfew in the district. However, the night curfew—from 7pm to7am- would continue till further orders,” said Abhishek Prakash, district magistrate, Lucknow. The DM said that they were yet to issue guidelines for other establishments still lying closed. But he said restaurants could make home deliveries as dining was still unsafe.
The city parks were the first to witness the crowd. “We have resumed our morning walk after a long time. It’s actually like coming back to life as we saw each other after so long,” said Ajay Kapoor, Morning Walker’s Association Lohia Park, Chowk, Lucknow. However, the association that was also the city’s oldest morning walkers’ association, ensured that the social distancing was followed.
Religious places were the next to draw people. Though the administration has allowed only five people at a time in the temple in order to avoid gatherings, queues were seen at the temples. “Nothing is as good as starting a day by visiting a temple, especially in corona times,” said Prabhat Mishra, a local who hails from Qaiserbagh. Some temples are yet to allow the entry of devotees.
“We will allow entry of devotees in the next couple of days. Only five people at a time would be allowed,” said Chandrakant, priest at Hanuman Setu.
Markets including Aminabad Gwynne road, La touché road , Mohan Market, Pratap Market, Garbarjhala, Nazirabad, State Bank crossing, Mumtaz market, Moulviganj, Naka Hindola, Amber Market, Mahanagar, Hazratganj, Patrakarpuram, Bhootnath, Indira Nagar, Alambagh, Chowk, Chaupatian, Balaganj, Nakkhas, Yahiyaganj and Rakabganj, reopened on the day. “Around 1.25 lakh traders of the state capital opened their shops. During corona curfew, the traders lost more than ₹10,000 crore business We now expect markets to recover the losses,” said Sandeep Bansal, president of Akhil Bhartiya Undyog Vyapar Mandal.
Bansal said the markets witnessed a good crowd, but serious buyers were few. “We expect things to get better by the weekend,” he added.
Of all, Hazratganj market remained the most crowded. Other than the serious buyers, some youths were also spotted hanging out in groups. “The lockdown was no less than a confinement. We are meeting friends after so many days,” said Abhinav Mehrotra, a college-goer.
Metro services too resumed on the entire North-South corridor (CCS Airport to Munshipulia), after a gap of one month. On the first day of the resumption around 4500 passengers took a ride from 7 am to 5 pm, as metro services are available till 7pm on Wednesday. The ridership was expected to cross the 6000 mark, said MD Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation Kumar Keshav. “I can say 6000 passengers is a very good number on the first day. Lucknow Metro has always received overwhelming response from passengers,” he said, adding that special attention is being paid towards extensive cleaning and sanitization of Metro stations and trains.