The Chandigarh administration extended the city’s lockdown for another week on Monday, with no exceptions. UT administrator VP Singh Badnore chaired the Covid review meeting, which reached the decision. The lockout, which was supposed to end at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, will now last until 5 a.m. on May 25. According to a UT spokesperson, the decision was made “in order to reap the benefit of caseload plateauing.”
The step comes amid strong opposition from the business community, which had demanded certain concessions, such as the introduction of the odd-even formula for non-essential store openings.
“It’s a difficult time for traders because we have to pay taxes and pay wages to our employees even though our shops are closed,” Sanjeev Chadha, general secretary, Chandigarh Beopar M, said.
President of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, Charan Jiv Singh, said that peaceful protests would begin on Wednesday at the market in Sector 23.
Arvind Jain, the president of Vyapar Sadan, submitted a list of suggestions to the administrator on how markets could be opened in stages to avoid overcrowding.
Meetings with trade associations will be held in Washington, D.C.
To reassure the business community, the deputy commissioner will meet with representatives from different organisations to solicit their opinions and recommendations on possible relief for them as a result of the lockdown.
Badnore urged landlords of small residential houses to voluntarily reduce house rents during the lockdown in order to provide relief to tenants who had lost their jobs and avoid migration.
On Sunday, the Punjab and Haryana governments both extended the curfew. It will be in effect in Haryana until 5 a.m. on May 24 and in Punjab until May 31.