While councillors of the city stated that they have been spreading Covid-19 awareness in their wards, Resident Welfare Associations say that nothing has been happening on ground and that people continue to violate norms by not masking up.
Ravi Kant Sharma, BJP councillor, who contracted the virus himself, said that he has been sending out messages to people on WhatsApp groups. “I have been infected myself and I know how just mask that can save a person from contagion. I really want to tell people how important mask is. Doctors have been saying that it passes on through droplets and if people are wearing masks, they can be safe even if they are around Covid positive people,” Sharma said.
“I have made WhatsApp groups of residents where I have been informing people of wearing mask positively. That is the key to remaining safe,” he added.
Congress councillor, Gurbax Rawat, said to encourage people to wear masks, she motivated them to make the masks at home. “When residents go for walks, they raise slogans reminding people to wear masks,” said Rawat.
Mahesh Inder Sidhu, BJP Councillor, stated that people from other wards were violating norms in his ward. “People in my ward are careful and mostly wear masks themselves Shopkeepers also mostly ensure that visitors wear a mask inside their shops. The only problem area are youngsters in parks and green belts. Apart from that, people from Nayagaon come to Bougainvillea garden in Sector 3 and Leisure valley mostly without masks,” Sidhu said.
However, RWAs say that while people are not following guidelines about wearing masks, councillors are doing absolutely nothing about it.
Pankaj Gupta, Chief Spokesman, Federation of Sectors Welfare Associations of Chandigarh (FOSWAC) said, “People are not wearing masks and violating other government guidelines but there is no action by authorities upon them. In the initial days of lockdown, the Administration was stern in implementing Covid guidelines, but now the scenerio has changed. Neither are people particular about wearing masks, maintaining social distance, etc and nor is the government concerned about it,” said Gupta.
Major (retd) DP Singh, Patron, Chandigarh Resident’s Association Welfare Federation (CRAWFED) said that cases are rising as people don’t wear masks. “Covid-19 cases are multiplying rapidly because people are not putting on masks. WhatsApp groups are wasting their time on just good morning messages. MC councillors should devote more time to educate and motivate people in their wards to get better results,” he said.
On being asked about what the UT administration was doing to ensure that people were following norms of wearing masks, UT Adviser Manoj Parida said, “We will implement 500 rupees fine drive more vigorously. Our people are educated and literate. I find 90 per cent compliance which is much better than other states.”
MPS Chawla, a hotelier said that it is high time UT should appoint marshals to ensure compliance of wearing masks.
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