As Lockdown 4.0 begins Monday, the Delhi government has got most of what it had asked of the Centre. A list of recommendations sent to the Prime Minister on Thursday had sought a considerable degree of opening up of the city so economic activity could restart. The Delhi government had, before that, asked people to send their suggestions about what they wanted in the fourth phase.
Most relaxations, however, are unlikely to come into force on Monday. With the Centre’s guidelines coming late Sunday evening, the Delhi government has decided to come out with its own set on Monday. Complete curbs will remain in all 64 containment zones in the city.
“Centre’s guidelines are largely in line with the proposal sent by Delhi government based on suggestions of lakhs of Delhiites. We have used the lockdown period to prepare our healthcare system if corona cases increase, but it is now time to relax the restrictions to some extent. Delhi government will prepare a detailed plan for the city based on the Centre’s guidelines and announce them tomorrow,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.
Among Delhi’s suggestions was to open markets, market complexes and malls, where shops for non-essential items would open as per the odd-even rule. Under the Centre’s guidelines, all but shopping malls are allowed to open.
The Delhi government had also asked the Centre that buses, cabs, autos and taxis be allowed to play, albeit with certain restrictions. The Centre has placed no restrictions on these. However, the Metro, among the most popular modes of transport in Delhi, will not run start just yet.
While Delhi had asked the government to revise the timing for movement of individuals between 5 am-9 pm, the Centre has stuck to the 7 am-7 pm timing.
According to Delhi government officials, even though the Centre has not placed any restrictions on markets, buses and other modes of transport, the Delhi government does have its own set of guidelines prepared.
As it was mentioned in the recommendations, shops selling non-essential items are likely to be allowed to open on an odd-even basis. In cabs, only two people other than the driver will likely be allowed and auto and cycle rickshaws can seat only one passenger at a time.
“Most of these guidelines, especially things like buses, parks, sports complexes, etc, will be tough to open on Monday as our guidelines are still being finalised. From Tuesday onwards, we can expect many more relaxations to come into force,” a senior government official said.
Even though the Centre’s guidelines have relaxed inter-state travel, Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij said anyone who wished to come to the state will be allowed only if they produce a Covid negative test. Haryana has sealed four districts bordering Delhi — Gurgaon, Faridabad, Jhajjar and Sonepat — after a surge in Covid cases.
“In Haryana, more than 70% of Covid-19 cases are from four districts adjoining Delhi. It would be compulsory for any person entering Haryana from Delhi to have a negative report,” Vij said. He added, “Even for e-passes, applicants will have to produce their negative Covid test report.”
Noida, which has also placed strict curbs on who can enter from Delhi, Sunday said status quo would remain till further orders are issued by the UP government.
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