The footfall in malls, clubs, and eateries of Chandigarh gradually started to pick up on Thursday, a day after their reopening after being shut for more than a month due to a Covid-induced lockdown.
On Thursday, till 5pm, around 12,000 people had visited Elante Mall, management officials of the mall said, with at least five of them shopping for more than Rs 1 lakh.
An official from the Elante Mall management confirmed, “There were at least five people who shopped for over Rs 1 lakh today.” On Day 1 of its reopening, Wednesday, Elante mall had seen a footfall of 9000 people till 4pm.
Meanwhile, shoppers started lowering their guards in many markets of Chandigarh on Day 2 of their reopenings by blatantly flouting social distancing norms or not wearing their masks. Some were even spotted wearing their mask on their chin.
MPS Chawla, a resident, and a hotelier said that the UT administration should have appointed marshals from the market welfare associations in order to keep tabs on people and to ensure that they abided by all Covid-19 norms laid down by the administration.
“As the deployment of policemen is not possible at all places at all times, the market associations should at least deployed marshals to tell people to wear masks or intimate the police patrol vans about regular offenders,” said Chawla.
Similar chaos was witnessed at many other local markets of sectors 22, 19, among others, with shoppers jostling for space on the congested market lanes as they moved from one shop to another.
Since Wednesday, gyms, restaurants, and bars, too, have been allowed to be open at 50 per cent capacity, provided they adhere to all safety and sanitisation guidelines.
Prodded about how the administration is going to ensure people are vaccinated before the possible Covid third wave, Chandigarh Adviser Manoj Parida, said, “We go by trust.”
DC tells people to mask up
Chandigarh Deputy Commissioner, Mandip Singh Brar, held a meeting with his deputy KPS. Mahi and three SDMs on Thursday to review the new guidelines on Covid-19 for the City.
The Deputy Commissioner instructed the SDMs to ensure that a strict vigil is maintained on adherence to Covid-19 protocol in their respective zones.
The officials should ensure that face masks are worn by people at all times and physical distancing is maintained, the DC said. He also ordered that strict action be taken against shop owners who violate Standard Operating Protocols.