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Govt gets over 500k ideas for a post-lockdown Delhi BRAINSTORMING: The CM had, on Tuesday, sought suggestions from the public

May 14, 2020 05:39 AM


Govt gets over 500k ideas for a post-lockdown Delhi
BRAINSTORMING: The CM had, on Tuesday, sought suggestions from the public

Migrant workers queue up to board a Shramik Express train at Old Delhi Railway Station on Wednesday. Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO
Sweta Goswami

New Delhi : From recommending the odd-even rule for private vehicles, and opening alternate shops on alternate days, to seeking a ban on paan and gutka, residents and professionals sent over 500,000 suggestions to the Delhi government over a span of about 29 hours, the chief minister’s office said on Wednesday.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, on Tuesday, had sought suggestions from the public on relaxations that could be allowed in the Capital after May 17, when the third phase of national lockdown is scheduled to end, with a deadline of 5pm on Wednesday. By that time, the chief minister received 5,48,700 suggestions.

“The response to the CM’s call for suggestions has been overwhelming. We received over 4.76 lakh WhatsApp messages, nearly 10,700 email, around 39,000 recorded messages on call, and 22,700 responses in a petition at,” the CM’s office said.

“The responses have been received under various categories such as industrial and MSME operations, transport, education, and day-to-day activities of the people like commercial and non-commercial activities,” a media advisor to the CM said.

Delhi has been in varying degrees of lockdown since the Janta Curfew on March 22.

Senior Delhi government officials said the chief minister will hold consultations with experts, doctors and top bureaucrats from across departments on Thursday to draft the final proposal for the national Capital that will be sent to the Prime Minister’s Office.

“The proposal will definitely include the Delhi government’s recommendation that red zones in the Capital be either identified on the basis of containment zones or wards. Apart from this, restricted operations of offices, industries and shops will continue. But there are a lot of varied views on whether malls, shopping complexes, markets should be allowed or not. These will be decided on Thursday,” a senior government official said.

A second official said that even though the Delhi government will send its own proposal to the PMO like other states, any relaxations after May 17 will depend on guidelines that the Union home ministry issues.

“Transport minister Kailash Gahlot held a review meeting on Wednesday to discuss the possibilities of opening public transport if needed. It was observed that such decisions can be firmed up only once the new set of guidelines on lockdown 4.0 is issued by the MHA. So, even though what the Delhi government wants will be clear by Thursday, an official order from the city administration on the new rules for lockdown 4.0 will come only after the MHA order,” the official said

Some resident welfare associations (RWAs) demanded that Covid-19 testing in private labs be made free and that labs be reimbursed from the PM Cares Fund.

In one mail, at least 74 RWAs — from Dwarka, Greater Kailash, Asiad Village, Vasant Kunj, Defence Colony, Rajendra Nagar, Mayur Vihar Phase 1, Ashok Vihar, Rohini and Mukherjee Nagar and GTB Nagar, among others — collectively sent their recommendations to the CM.

“Odd-Even for cars and two-wheelers with no exemptions should be announced to discourage movement of people and to give equal opportunity of vocation for all. The same should be introduced for taxis and auto-rickshaws as well. Alternate shops may be allowed in designated markets to open on alternate days... Pan and gutka should be banned as people indulge in spitting in public spaces,” read some suggestions from the group.

A group of lawyers sent had suggestions to decongest the sub-registrar offices across the city.

“To prevent overcrowding in sub-registrar offices, public dealing timings (existing 10am to 2pm) can be increased by two hours minimum with only one appointment slot every five minutes,” the mail by an advocate, Gaurav Gambhir, read.

BS Vohra, president, East Delhi RWAs Joint Front, suggested the government stop the sale of liquor in stores. “Online orders, digital payments, and home delivery mechanisms

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