Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and urged him to direct Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to allow hotels and weekly markets in the national capital to reopen.
“It is beyond comprehension what the Centre wishes to achieve by keeping hotels and weekly markets shut in Delhi when they have been allowed to open even in states with high Covid-19 caseload,” Sisodia wrote in the letter, according to PTI.
Sisodia said that the Delhi government was planning to send its proposal to the Lieutenant Governor again on Tuesday and asked Shah to ensure that the proposal is not stopped.
“I request you to ask the L-G not to stop the proposal. If traders start their businesses, the economy will improve and jobs will be generated,” said Sisodia.
Sisodia also said that the Covid situation in Delhi has been under control for the last one month and is normalising.
His letter comes after Baijal on Friday rejected Arvind Kejriwal government’s decision to open hotels and weekly markets (on a trial basis) as part of unlock 3.0. Officials told PTI that the Lieutenant Governor took this decision as the Covid-19 situation continues to be “fragile” and the threat is still “far from over”.
Delhi has a total of 1,36,716 coronavirus cases and the national capital recorded 1,118 new cases on Saturday.
The Delhi government had on Thursday decided to allow hotels, street hawkers to resume operations and do away with the night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am as part of Unlock 3.
It had also decided to allow weekly bazaars to reopen on a trial basis for a week with social distancing and all necessary coronavirus-appropriate measures in place, but the L-G intervened before the government could issue an order.
This is not the first time when the Kejriwal government and the Lieutenant Governor have disagreed over Covid-19 orders. On 19 June, Baijal made mandatory a five-day institutional quarantine for every Covid-19 patient under home quarantine in Delhi, evoking a sharp response from the Delhi government.
The Delhi government called this decision arbitrary and asked the L-G to reconsider. The order was changed the next day.
On 20 June, Baijal issued an order making it mandatory for every new Covid-19 patient to visit a care centre for clinical assessment. Kejriwal then demanded that the L-G not change Delhi’s home isolation model which, he said, had been working well. Baijal later withdrew the new order and said only Covid-19 positive patients who don’t have “adequate facilities at home to ensure physical segregation and who don’t have other medical conditions would require to be shifted to Covid Care Centres.”
Experts had told HuffPost India last month that there needed to be proper discussion between L-G and the Delhi government on such important policy matters.
(With PTI inputs)