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Sukhna Lake, not malls, new crowd favourite

June 14, 2020 06:27 AM


Sukhna Lake, not malls, new crowd favourite

IT’S REAL: Saturday saw hordes of people thronging the Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh. Majority were not only unmindful of social distancing, but also had their face masks lowered, said cops posted there. Ravi Kumar/HT
Rajanbir Singh

CHANDIGARH : The first weekend since the malls reopened on June 8 saw lackluster response, with the malls getting only a fraction of the footfall they used to before the Covid-19 lockdown.

On the contrary, Sukhna Lake was a hotspot for residents, evident by its chock-a-block parking lots.

Swadesh Talwar, a regular here, said the number of people at the lake on Saturday appeared to be even more than the usual days. “The lake’s main parking lot, as well as the area in front of the Lake Club, was full of vehicles, which doesn’t happen on an average day. Over 200 cycles were chained on the railing from the lake all the way to club,” he said.

Police officials posted at the lake said the footfall on Saturday was around 5,000, while the number was between 1,000 and 2,000 on regular days.

Despite their repeated appeals, the officials complained, people did not follow social distancing, while several joggers also kept their face masks lowered.

“Seeing the pictures of large crowds at Sukhna, I have moved to Rose Garden, Sector 16, which is less crowded and safer,” said advocate Ajay Jagga, who used to be a regular at the lake.


Deserted halls and corridors were the scene at Elante Mall, with little to no visitors.

Shah Nawaz, manager of the Westside store here, said they had witnessed a considerably dwindled footfall since they reopened on June 8, and the number of customers had only fallen since. “Usually sales on Saturday are much higher than those on Monday, but that was surely not the case this weekend,” he said.

Shoppers Stop also confirmed poor response through the week, with not much difference on Friday and Saturday.

Pedestrian-favourite Sector 17 also saw barely any activity, which the local shopkeepers attributed to Punjab government’s recent decision to restrict people’s movement on weekends.

“Many people from Punjab come to Sector 17 over the weekends, but Saturday brought hardly any business,” said Neeraj Bajaj, proprietor of Sindhi Sweets.


Meanwhile, restaurants at the mall remained closed on Saturday with the impasse regarding rent still not resolved. Tanushree Raina, who works as an image consultant in the city, said she wanted to go to Elante to shop and eat, but cancelled the trip as no eatery was open

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