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Monday, August 02, 2021

Delhi unlock: Stadiums and sports complexes likely to reopen from Monday

While most activities have been allowed in Delhi, spas, cinemas, theaters and multiplexes remain shut. Swimming pools have also not been allowed to reopen.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: July 3, 2021 7:44:41 pm
An official said stadiums and sports complexes are likely to reopen from Monday but no other relaxations have been recommended for now. (File photo)

Stadiums and sports complexes are likely to reopen in Delhi from Monday as a part of the next round of relaxations being offered by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).

It has, however, decided against lifting the restrictions in the Delhi Metro for at least another week. The DDMA has not officially issued any order. However, sources said unless the Chief Minister’s Office or the Lt Governor’s secretariat overrules the recommendations placed before them for their approval, the metro will continue to operate with 50 per cent seating capacity in coaches.

“For now, stadiums and sports complexes will reopen from Monday. No other relaxations have been recommended. However, the final order may or may not have further changes,” an official said.

Last week, gyms, yoga institutes and banquet halls were allowed to reopen.

While most activities have been allowed in Delhi, spas, cinemas, theaters and multiplexes remain shut. Swimming pools have also not been allowed to reopen.

On the question of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) demanding further relaxations due to long queues outside stations, the official said, “The DMRC’s argument has merit. But further relaxations might lead to huge crowds of passengers inside trains and stations. Metro will have to manage the system better by making public appeals to people to avoid unnecessary travel.”

Currently, the metro has been allowed to operate with 50 per cent seating capacity, which means an eight-coach train, that can usually carry up to 2,400 passengers, can now run with around 250-300 people. Moreover, passengers are not allowed to stand inside coaches during the course of the journey.

On June 14, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had written to the Delhi government, urging “further relaxations” to tackle the situation. Last Thursday, DMRC issued a statement, saying it “regrets the inconvenience caused to its esteemed passengers due to these restrictions”.

“Lockdown guidelines have been further eased down by the authorities, enabling most of the economic activities to take place. As a result, there has been continuous build up of the crowds of passengers outside our stations due to regulated entry resulting in inconvenience to them. DMRC hopes that the situation shall improve once the restrictions are relaxed by the authorities,” it said.

Delhi was under a lockdown between April 19 and May 30. The city started unlocking in phases from May 31, with permission being granted to factories within industrial areas and construction activities to resume.

On June 7, markets, malls and the Delhi Metro services were allowed to operate with 50 per cent capacity. From June 14, the 50 per cent cap was removed in case of markets and malls.

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