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Delhi govt proposes to restrict social gatherings to 50, local lockdowns in markets

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 17, 2020 Published on November 17, 2020

As the number of Covid-19 cases has started going up again in the recent days in the Capital, the Delhi government on Tuesday proposed a slew of steps, including restricting the number of people attending weddings and other social functions to 50 from existing 200 and imposing local lockdowns on those markets where shoppers do not follow proper Covid-appropriate norms such as wearing masks and keeping sufficient physical distance.

Addressing a press conference here, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said he has written to Lt Governor Anil Baijal regarding the first proposal and has sought the Centre’s general approval for imposing lockdowns on such shopping areas as and when such occasions arise. He said the Centre, which announced the Unlock earlier, had directed all State governments to take its nod before clamping down lockdowns in their territories.

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CAIT criticism

However, Kejriwal’s general proposal to shut down those Delhi markets attracted criticism from traders. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) requested Union Home Miniser Amit Shah and Baijal to consult traders before taking any such decision as it would affect livelihoods of lakhs of traders and their employees and other people.

The statement issued by CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said such a proposal by Kejriwal speaks to the utter failure of the Delhi government in handling the Covid issue in Delhi despite tall claims made by him and his ministers.

Khandelwal said that though the Covid spread is certainly a major concern among the people of Delhi, the issue needs to be handled in a strategic way and not through piecemeal manner. The pros and cons of shutting the markets must be examined.

“The traders and trade associations of Delhi stand fully in solidarity with the government to tackle Covid situation. However, without consulting the traders, any step taken by the government will be counter-productive. Not only the regular items but even the supplies of essential commodities will be hit hard with such a lockdown,” he said.

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Published on November 17, 2020
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