NEW DELHI: With the third phase of lockdown scheduled to come to an end on 17 May, most people in Delhi want resumption of public transport, markets and parks.
But, they feel educational institutions, barber shops, hotels, cinema halls and gyms should remain shut. The majority also want the lockdown extended but with more relaxation in norms.
Addressing a press conference on suggestions received by Delhi government, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the state disaster management committee will discuss the inputs with experts later in the day and send recommendations to the central government.
Kejriwal had invited suggestions on the structure of the next phase of lockdown. His government has five lakh suggestions through calls, WhatsApp messages, and emails.
“The central government wanted suggestions from states on what the next phase of lockdown should be. I didn’t want to take this decision from an AC room but wanted to base it on suggestions from the public, experts, doctors. These are really good and creative suggestions," Kejriwal said.
In a meeting with chief ministers on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked states to submit their recommendations by 15 May on what they want in the fourth phase of lockdown.
India has been under a lockdown since 25 March, with each phase seeing easing of some restrictions. Addressing the nation on Tuesday, PM Modi had hinted that while the lockdown will be extended beyond 17 May, this phase will be different from the previous ones.
Kejriwal said a majority of people feel that schools, colleges and other educational institutes should remain shut till the summer vacation along with hotels. But home delivery of food from restaurant should be allowed. Most people agreed that barber shops, spas, salons, cinema halls, swimming pools should not open right now as they all involve inter-personal contact.
Market associations have suggested that they be allowed to open on an odd-even basis. People have also suggested that shopping malls be allowed to open.
“People do not want the 7pm to 7am timings. They all agree that old people and those with underlying health problems should not leave their house including pregnant women and children under 10 years. They feel that whatever is opened – social distancing should be compulsory and strict action should be taken against those not wearing masks," Kejriwal added.
For public transport, people have suggested allowing auto rickshaws and taxis with limited passengers and frequent sanitisation, and buses and metros with strict social distancing.
“It has been one and a half months since the entire country and Delhi have been shut. We will need to work hard to open the economy. On the basis of these suggestions, along with the Lieutenant Governor there is a meeting of the state disaster management committee. We will send recommendations to the central government and based on their guidelines we will implement the next phase of lockdown from Monday," he said.
The Centre will finalise the structure of the next phase of lockdown. Under the disaster management act, it has the central government has the authority to issue orders to states.