‘Was Recommended to Open Markets on Odd-Even Basis’: Delhi CM

More than 5 lakh suggestions poured after Kejriwal urged citizens to weigh in on the lockdown.

3 min read
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

After Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had asked the people of Delhi for suggestions on how to relax the lockdown post 17 May, more than 5 lakh suggestions poured in within two days.

Kejriwal took to Twitter on 14 May to thank the people of Delhi for offering suggestions. “More than 5 lakh suggestions have been received. Based on your suggestions, we will send proposals related to Delhi to the central government,” he tweeted.

The total suggestions received within 24 hours, include over 5 lakh WhatsApp messages, 10,700 emails and 49,000 calls.

He said bearing in mind the suggestions, a meeting had been scheduled with the Lieutenant Governor and State Disaster Management Authority at 4:00 pm on 14 May, following which suggestions would be sent to the central government, he said.

With a record number of 472 new cases reported in Delhi, the biggest jump in a day, the total number of COVID-19 positive patients has jumped to 8,470 in the state.

What Suggestions Did People of Delhi Send?

In a video, the Delhi CM said, “We had only one day for suggestions. One day, because on Monday, PM Modi held a meeting with CMs of the country and asked us to send him our proposal of the relaxations we would want post 17 May before 15 May. By today evening we want to send our proposal to PM Modi after which the central government will take the decision.”

Deeming some of the suggestions ‘creative’, he read them out on video.

Regarding opening schools, colleges and educational institutes, Kejriwal said most people were against it. The common suggestion was to keep schools closed till summer vacations were over, and take a call thereafter.

Regarding hotels, most people said they should remain closed, while restaurants could open and home delivery of food allowed. It was also recommended that people be allowed to opt for take-aways from restaurants.

Citizens of Delhi also voiced their concern against opening barber shops, stating the physical contact could lead to further spread of COVID-19. They also suggested spas, salons, cinema halls and swimming pools be closed.

People also enquired with the Delhi government regarding the rationale behind allowing people to step out only between 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. On the other hand, most agreed that old people, heart patients, pregnant women, kids under the age of ten, those with asthma, sugar and cancer should not step out whatsoever.

Another common string of thought was ensuring social distancing is maintained for all business that would operate, and action be initiated if people are found not wearing masks.

Many requested access to park so they can go out for walks, exercise and do yoga.

Regarding transport, most suggested auto rickshaws be allowed to ply, adding that only one person is allowed to sit in an auto at a given time, and two in a taxi. Most people said that buses should resume but with not more than 20 or 25 people. People have been complaining about not being able to move around as they do not have private vehicles and rely on public transport, also asking for metros to resume. Market associations wrote in saying that complexes must be open or odd and even days. Industry associations also sent their suggestions, seeking industrial zones be opened where labourers from Delhi are allowed to reach.

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