Bhupendra Narayan Singh (Chandigarh): In the last over one month of lockdown because of coronavirus, the Chandigarh administration led by Sh VP Singh Badnore Governor of Punjab and Administrator,UT has done commendable work in matters related to and arising from this previously unheard of scourge. However, it is now time to move beyond the present fire-fighting and devise a strategy to simultaneously fight Covid-19 , revive economic activity and alleviate financial and psychological distress.
The steps in this regard should include the following:
UT Chandigarh should no longer be treated as a single district for classification under Covid-19. Instead, the existing Sub-Divisions under SDMs should be considered for this purpose. Areas reporting any incidence should be placed in Red Zone and dealt with under the Central guidelines, including sealing like that of kachi colony, Dhanas, Bapu Dham, Sector 30 etc.DIVISIONS with no case should be opened up.
The fact that about 20% of the people who tested negative in Chandigarh are doctors, nurses, other paramedics or sanitation workers in hospitals. This points out the lack of quality Personal Protection Eqipment.Therefore, all those who perform any duty in all hospitals, should immediately be provided quality certified PPEs. Their work should appropriately be recognised and honoured later.
Present system of universal screening in the City is rather casual.It needs to be done effectively and total testing in affected areas.
It is time to resume commercial and industrial activity in a calibrated manner. Half of the total number of shops in a sector market should open with odd and even numbers on alternate days and half of the total staff.In case of two or more Bay shops or those running in portions of a building or on different floors, the respective market associations may be given the task to decide on the modalities.Students, thus, will able to books for their next class.
In case of factories, those with up to seven workers should be permitted to run with up to three workers; and others with not more half of the total strength of staff.
Bicycles, rickshaws with one passenger, personal scooters without a pillion rider and cars with only person besides the driver may be permitted on Odd-Even number basis for alternate days and for shop timings only.
All commercial establishments including shops and industry, should be exempted from payment of water and the minimum electricity charges for the period of lockdown and a month thereafter.
The liability to pay excise license fee by restaurants et cetera should begin from the date those reopen after the lockdown.
Wages: workers of establishments covered by employees state insurance should be paid three fourths of the salaries from the corpus of ESIC for the lockdown period.
One important aspect missing from the distribution of ration is that those unfortunate persons who are not registered under the national food security act and as such do not have even the right to stand in a queue for the dry ration, have no access to the same.They need help the most under the PM garib kalyan yojna or on immediate ad hoc basis.
The migrant labourers who have no means to pay the rent and wish to go to their original homes, be facilitated to do so.
All schools in the city should be permitted to run with half of the staff who can undertake teaching work online. They also be asked to prepare reading material for the students who are not lucky to have access to the Internet and transmit it through WhatsApp.
All the contributions made from Chandigarh to PM CARES fund should immediately be remitted to the UT Administration,exclusively for fighting Coronavirus. Additional funds should also be given by the Centre.