New Delhi, August 20, 2020 - After persistent efforts of Delhi government under Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) chaired by Hon'ble LG on Wednesday decided to open the hotels along with the opening of weekly markets on a trial basis. However, the gyms of Delhi will remain closed.
Following the decision,Arvind Kejriwal said, "The corona situation in Delhi is much better now. Now, the economy of Delhi has to be brought on track. For this, we had already proposed opening all the hotels in Delhi, which was rejected by the Central government. We again requested the central government, and we are happy that now the proposal of the Delhi government has been approved. Now all hotels in Delhi will be opened. At the same time, the weekly market will be opened on a trial basis. In the meantime, everyone must exercise precautions and follow social distancing."
Following the decision, many hotel and restaurant associations have thanked CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal. President Loveleen Anand, and Chairman Sandeep Khandelwal, Delhi Hotels & Restaurant's Owner's Association (DHROA) have written, ""DHROA" wholeheartedly thanks shri Arvind Kejriwal, the beloved Chief Minister of Delhi. The decision to open the hotel is a new ray of life given to us by our Chief Minister between the life and death decision, which is a very commendable step. It is a step to provide livelihood and employment opportunities. The move will also make migrant workers happy."
Jagpreet Arora, president of Karol Bagh Hotel Association thanked Arvind Kejriwal and wrote, "We would first like to thank you on behalf of the entire Karol Bagh hotel industry for granting us permission to reopen our Hotels. We appreciate the pains taken by your good self in helping us in the same regard. We are always there for your support."
Lodging House Owners Association President Daljeet Chadha and General Secretary Ram Arya said, "We thank you sir for unlocking our budget hotels in the central district. You have been excessively kind in first presenting the proposal of unlocking over two weeks back but somehow was held back at Lt. Governor's behest. Your continuous, tireless effort in pushing the proposal on rational reasoning has finally brought cheers to the depressed owners and importantly lakhs of workers sitting in their villages without jobs. We will follow all SOP for COVID prevention."
In the last week of July, the Arvind Kejriwal government decided to allow hotels and gyms to reopen in the city, besides allowing weekly markets to open on a trial basis for seven days with social distancing and all other COVID 19 measures. The Delhi government had decided to end night curfew and allow more economic activities, including the normal functioning of hospitality services, in the national capital under 'Unlock-3' guidelines. However, on July 31 the Hon'ble LG rejected the Delhi government's decision to allow hotels and weekly markets under Unlock 3, citing the situation fragile amid coronavirus pandemic.
On August 6, Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government sent a fresh proposal to Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor Shri Anil Baijal seeking his permission to allow hotels, gymnasium, and weekly markets to reopen in the national capital. The fresh proposal sent by Revenue Minister Kailash Gehlot said that the condition of Delhi is improving and the number of cases is coming down. In many states, the COVID cases are rising but hotels, gyms and weekly markets should be allowed to open. Considering that the situation in Delhi is improving as the number of active cases is decreasing every day, the Delhi govt has the right to decide the unlock guidelines in accordance with the Centre's guidelines. Hotels, gyms and weekly markets should open in Delhi considering the improving situation in Delhi and the sentiments of the Delhiites.
In the fresh request, the Delhi government observed that the situation in Delhi is fast improving and economic activities need to be opened up so that those people who have been suffering for the last four months due to imposition of lockdown, can resume their jobs and business, albeit with restrictions.
Hotels and weekly bazaars have been opened up in the entire country. States like UP, Karnataka etc., which are facing a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases, have also kept hotels and weekly bazaars open. Hotels and weekly bazaars are open in the entire country except for Delhi. On one hand, the Central Government has issued guidelines allowing the opening up weekly markets and hotels. The Central Government had allowed hotels & weekly bazaars to open in all those states where COVID situation is much worse than Delhi, strangely, it was not being allowed to open in Delhi.
The hotels contribute to 8% of the State's GDP & employment. Weekly bazaars provide employment to 5 lakh poor families. After having successfully brought COVID situation under control, it is a challenge to bring the economy back on track. Opening up these two sectors will help in that direction.