New Delhi: The Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi will send a fresh proposal to Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal this week to push for the reopening of hotels, weekly markets, gyms and yoga centres in the national capital.
Reports of the proposal come days after the L-G, last Friday, rejected the Kejriwal government’s attempt to reopen hotels and weekly markets on a “trial basis” in line with the central government’s guidelines for phase III of Unlock, which ushers in a gradual easing of the Covid lockdown.
Announced on 29 July, the latest Unlock guidelines did away with the night curfew, and allowed the reopening of gyms and yoga centres from 5 August. However, they didn’t dwell on hotels in particular. The guidelines listed a few exceptions like schools, colleges, cinema halls and Metro rail, and said all other activities are allowed outside containment zones.
The final onus remains on states and union territories, who can adopt or reject the recommendations on the basis of the local Covid situation.
The Kejriwal government had decided to open hotels and weekly markets in light of the guidelines, but the decision was rejected by the L-G because he deemed the Covid situation in Delhi to be fragile.
On 1 August, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, urging him to intervene and allow economic activities in Delhi. There has been no response to the letter, and the Delhi government is now set to send a fresh proposal to the LG, seeking permission to reopen weekly markets, hotels, gyms and yoga centres.
The development was confirmed by AAP MLA and senior leader Dilip Pandey. Senior Delhi government officials also held a meeting this week to discuss the issue, source said.
Ambiguity on gyms
While the AAP government’s decision to reopen hotels and weekly markets was explicitly rejected, there was ambiguity over gyms and yoga centres until Wednesday morning. Unlock 3 guidelines outlined that gyms and yoga centres could open from Wednesday, but a few premises that did open their doors were forced to shut down following instructions from district magistrates and local police stations, it is learnt.
Talking to ThePrint, Chirag Sethi, vice-president of the Delhi Gym Association, said they have suffered a financial hit on account of the lockdown, and have written to the L-G requesting him to reconsider the decision. The association is also in touch with senior leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party in this regard, he added.
The L-G’s office told ThePrint Wednesday that gyms and yoga centres are to remain closed for now. An official of the Delhi government confirmed as much. “Action will be taken against the gym and yoga institute owners who violate the Delhi government’s decision,” said the official.
District magistrates of Delhi’s 11 districts were Tuesday issued orders by the government to maintain status quo on gyms and yoga centres until further notice.
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