CM Kejriwal opens up Delhi but seals borders, reaches out to residents for suggestions

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said the borders of Delhi will be sealed for a week in the wake of rising coronavirus cases in the city. To decide on whether the borders should be opened, Kejriwal has sought suggestions from citizens through WhatsApp or email till Friday 5 pm. Announcing further relaxations in the Unlock 1.0 phase announced by the Centre, Kejriwal said barbershops and salons can open in Delhi.

He said people’s movement will be restricted from 9 pm to 5 am barring essential service providers. The Central government had sent its guidelines on the next phase of the lockdown beginning Monday and the decisions of the Delhi government are based on the Centre’s guidelines. Kejriwal said, “The things announced earlier will remain open.

Barber/salon shops will now remain open except spas. The Delhi government is also removing the restriction of only one passenger being allowed to travel in an auto-rickshaw, e-rickshaw, and phat-phat sewa. The Central government has imposed a curfew from 9 pm to 5 am, except for those in essential services, and the Delhi government will implement the same. Based on the guidelines of the Central government, the Delhi government is also removing restrictions on not allowing more than three passengers in a four-wheeler, and not more than one passenger on a two-wheeler.”

He said that since there is no condition in the guidelines of the Central government on shops being allowed to operate on an odd-even basis, the Delhi government has decided to lift this condition and all shops will be now allowed to operate. The Delhi government also announced the operation of industries based on staggered timings on the guidelines of the Central government, which have also been removed now. “Until now, we have been able to do so much work in Delhi because of the support of the people and their trust in us.

I have been faced with tough challenges at times and I did not have solutions to all these challenges, for which I went across to the people of Delhi for their suggestions and guidance on various matters. The guidance of the people made us implement many important decisions in Delhi. A few days back, I asked for suggestions on relaxations of the lockdown for which I received around 5 lakh suggestions from the people of Delhi,” added the CM.

Kejriwal said, “Today I am here to ask for your guidance on a very important question: Should the borders of Delhi be opened? There is an important aspect of this question. Covid positive cases are rising in Delhi, which is a matter of worry but there is no need to panic. I say this because the AAP government has invested a lot in developing the healthcare infrastructure of Delhi in the last five years. People from all across the country come to Delhi for their medical treatment because, first, Delhi›s healthcare system is better than the healthcare system of any other state in the country.

Second, the medical services in the government hospitals in Delhi are free of cost. People can avail free of cost treatment in the government hospitals even if the treatment costs Rs 10 lakh. As soon as we open the borders, people from across the country will come to Delhi for better treatment. We have a capacity of 9,500 beds for corona treatment in Delhi hospitals as against 2,300 patients today, but all the beds will be occupied in just 2-3 days if we have an influx of patients from across the country.” “What should we do?

Should Delhi borders be opened? Some people believe that the borders should be opened but medical treatment in the hospitals should only be given to residents of Delhi. But how can we do that? Delhi is the national capital of the country and it belongs to all, even to people of Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Maharashtra. How can Delhi deny treatment to all these people now? Some people believe that this practice should be adopted only until corona.

We have various suggestions and we need your guidance on what should be done,” he added. This announcement by Kejriwal invited sharp reactions from the BJP and the Congress. BJP MP Gautam Gambhir told The Daily Guardian that Kejriwal wants to punish innocent people merely because they live across the border to cover up for his failures. Senior Congress leader Ajay Maken asked if Delhi government hospitals are only for the people of Delhi and Central Government only for outsiders, would the 630 Delhi Covid patients admitted to AIIMS Jhajjar (Haryana) find the borders sealed when they return?

Delhi BJP stages dharna against Kejriwal Meanwhile, the Delhi BJP unit staged a dharna in all 70 assembly seats against the AAP government’s failure to handle the Covid pandemic. BJP national vice-president and Delhi in-charge Shyam Jaju said, “The health system of the Indian capital has collapsed but the Delhi Chief Minister does not really care to pay attention other than from press conference and advertisement.” Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari too targeted the AAP government for demanding Rs 5,000 crore from the Central government citing economic crisis.

“The Kejriwal government has money for advertisements except paying its employees,” he alleged. The Congress hit out at the BJP, calling both BJP and AAP two sides to the same coin. Senior Congress leader Ajay Maken told The Daily Guardian that the BJP has no right to protest against its B Team, the AAP. However, the AAP summarily dismissed the Delhi BJP allegations. AAP MLA Somnath Bharti told The Daily Guardian that the way BJP has been dealing with corona crisis has heavily disappointed people. “The lockdown was announced by PM Modi in a knee-jerk way, just like he had announced demonetisation,” he added.

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