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Thursday, June 04, 2020

Lockdown 4.0: Under strict watch, many services likely to resume in Chandigarh

The administration on Wednesday issued orders of extending summer vacations in all government and government-aided schools till further orders.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | Published: May 15, 2020 2:19:01 am
Explained: As lockdown nears end, where does India stand in Covid-19 cases, research Sources said that Public transport will resume but with a particular percentage capacity, like buses will be allowed to operate with only a percentage of seating capacity being occupied. (Express Photo: Kamleshwar Singh)

Though Chandigarh is waiting for Centre’s guidelines, various services are likely to gradually resume post May 17 but with strict orders. However, activities will not be allowed in containment zones.

Sources said that Public transport will resume but with a particular percentage capacity, like buses will be allowed to operate with only a percentage of seating capacity being occupied. Similarly, cabs may be allowed but with only two passengers. The administration has already ordered the withdrawal of CTU buses which were being used to supply vegetables and fruits, from May 16 onwards. An order by Commissioner KK Yadav said that these CTU buses will supply produce only in containment zones and operations of the same in all other areas will be suspended.

The administration is also considering allowing auto rickshaws to operate, but only with one passenger. However, operations will only be allowed upto 7 pm subject to lockdown requirements.

Meanwhile, social and religious congregations will remain suspended for the entire month, the draft stated. Salons, schools and colleges, and coaching institutes will also remain shut till further orders.

The administration on Wednesday issued orders of extending summer vacations in all government and government-aided schools till further orders.

Sources in the administration said that if the Centre leaves it to states, all restaurants and hotels will be opened, but with orders of dining with only a certain percentage of the total seating capacity, to ensure social distancing. However, clubs will not be allowed to open as they encourage large gatherings.

Online delivery of cooked food is also likely to resume from May 18 onwards.

Restaurants and bars account for a major share in the Excise and VAT collection.

Sources said that the administration is also considering to open shops at the main road and those in Sector 17 plaza, but the opening of rehri markets was a challenge. “Enforcing social distancing guidelines in rehri markets is tough as the kiosks are closely located and there is huge rush. As of now, nothing has been decided as distancing is not possible. We may think of odd-even or some other way,” added the official.

At present, neighbourhood shops in the city are opening on an odd-even basis.

Officials said that all sorts of events, cultural gatherings, exhibitions, apni mandis will not be allowed.

“Balance has to be maintained,” said a senior officer in the administration, adding, “We all have to manage with it and gradually focus on livelihood as well. But all these rough outlines have prepared in case it is left to states. The exact plan will be clear hopefully by Saturday after Centre’s guidelines are issued.”

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