Delhi govt in favour of opening neighbourhood religious places, shops in malls on odd-even basis post May 31

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Allowing opening of neighbourhood religious places, shops in malls on odd-even basis and extension of market timings after May 31 are among the recommendations the Delhi government is likely to make to the Centre, sources said.

However, the Delhi government is not in favour of allowing cinema halls, schools and colleges to open after May 31, when the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown would end.

The nationwide curbs was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 for 21 days in a bid to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. It was first extended till May 3 and then again till May 17. The lockdown was further extended for the third time till May 31.

Sources said famous religious places in Delhi where people gather in large numbers will remain closed. These may include Jama Masjid, Akshardham Temple and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib.

They also said the government is contemplating to allow only 10 people at a neighbourhood religious place at a time to ensure social-distancing.

Sources said the Delhi government is likely to send its recommendations to the Centre by Saturday. The AAP government has already advocated resumption of Delhi metro operations.

“Shops in malls may be allowed to open on odd-even basis after May 31. Timings of markets are likely to extended. At present, all markets have to shut by 7 pm,” a source said. Malls are currently not allowed to open.

However, the government is yet to take a call on opening of barber shops and saloons in the city, sources said, adding a discussion on it will be held on Saturday.

On Thursday,  Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to all chief ministers and sought their views on extension of the ongoing nationwide lockdown beyond May 31. The telephonic conversations of the home minister had come just three days before the end of the fourth phase of the lockdown. 

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