Lockdown 3.0: Time has come to re-open national capital:says Kejriwal
NEW DELHI : Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday declared that time was ripe to re-open the national capital, except the containment zones . His government is ready to ‘lift the lockdown’ as he announced easing of relaxations for several sectors in line with the Centre’s guidelines.
Stating during a video message that he was holding discussions with the central government to device a plan which would allow the life in the national capital to limp back to normal.
“Obviously, there is going to be a risk of infections. But, we have been able to develop an infrastructure which would allow us to deal with a spike in cases, if they emerge,” said Kejriwal. We will have to be ready to live with coronavirus,” declared the CM at a press conference this evening.
He said that the state authorities were contemplating an arrangement, as part of which they could allow market places to open every second day, to begin with. “It is about time that we start bringing the business activity back to normal,” said Kejriwal. A major announcement made was regarding the re-opening of private offices, which he said would be allowed to operate with 33 per cent staff. Offices involved in essential services will be allowed to operate with 100 per cent staff.
Kejriwal said that people would be allowed to venture out of their homes between 7 am and 7 pm, with only people going out to buy essential items and those with genuine medical emergency permitted after 7 PM.
The CM announced that self-employed persons, including plumbers, electricians and housemaids among others, will be allowed to travel to their workplaces from Monday. Detailing about the public transport in place, CM said that neither metro services nor the buses will be allowed to ply on roads for now. Auto-rickshaws, cycle rickshaws, cab aggregators and taxis will not be allowed to operate, said Kejriwal.
While private vehicles will be allowed to operate on the roads, they won’t be permitted to have more than two persons, including the driver and only one person on two wheelers.
All 11 districts in Delhi have been declared as red zones and hotspots by the union home ministry as the capital has so far seen 4,122 cases of coronavirus, of whom 64 have died. Giving details on the next phase of lockdown, he said that Delhi government offices engaged in essential services will function with full strength.He said delivery of essential goods through e-commerce portals will continue in the national capital.
He said self-employed people like domestic helps, plumbers and other technicians will be allowed starting Monday, while standalone shops in residential areas will also be allowed to open.
Malls, market places, places of worship, gymnasiums, schools, coaching centres, and educational institutions will remain shut for the next two weeks, as will barber shops and salons. The state has also increased the limit for marriage functions, which can now be attended by 50 persons, while funerals can be attended by 20.
Besides, e-commerce activities for essential goods, IT services and call centres, warehouses and private security services can also continue, he said. While major market areas like Connaught Place and Khan Market will remain shut CM said.
Citing reasons for the government’s decisions, Mr Kejriwal said turning all of Delhi into a red zone gives rise to “two very big problems”.
“First — there is job loss among the masses. Traders and industries have been hugely affected with the closure of shops. People who have lost jobs are leaving the city. Many more want to leave. Delhi will not be able to bear this for too long,” he said.
Secondly, because of the lockdown, the government is not able to get any revenue. “How will we pay salaries? How will the government function? Every year, in April we used to make at least Rs 3,500 crore revenue, this year, we have made only Rs 300 crore revenue. We can’t pay salaries with this money,” he added.
People above the age of 65 and below 10, pregnant women, and those with chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension should not go out of doors.