Several Resident Welfare Associations (RWA’s) in the capital have sent suggestions to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in connection with lockdown relaxations post May 17, 2020 .The suggestions include allowing opening of commercial activity in industrial and commercial hubs with Odd-Even restrictions and proper sanitization protocols in place . But have strongly oppoed opening of shops and commercial activity in the residential colonies .

“The Center and State Govt seems unaware that more than 60% of Shops & Offices in Delhi are in Residential Areas due to the Disastrous Mixed Land Use in MPD-2021. Malls & Shopping Complex, Industrial Areas are Designed for large Foot Falls should be allowed to open with ODD/EVEN restrictions and Sanitisation Protocols in place.” Said Mr Rajiv Kakria , Convener, Save our city Campaign, which is an umbrella of RWA’s in the city.

“Shops and Offices in Residential Areas should not be allowed as it will become impossible to deploy Sanitisation & Screening Mechanisms for large number of Staff and Visitors. Residential Areas will suffer due to Mixed Land use Shops & Offices on every road, colony, village and unauthorised colony, throwing Lockdown to the winds and return to chaos. Alternate shops may be allowed in designated Markets to open on alternate days.” Said Mr Kakria.

“ While opening commercial activity Sanitisation Protocol should be devised, Sanitisation Tunnels with safe for humans WHO approved disinfectants be installed at Entry Points of Markets, Parks and Public Spaces. RWA’s too can Pitch in, provided Authorities do not create Hurdles in inhalation.” He added

“Identify and Notify Dynamic (Super Spreader) and Standalone Carriers. Standalone professionals like Plumbers, Electricians, Equipment Repair Mechanics, Drivers, Full Day Domestic Staff may be ALLOWED AFTER SCREENING TESTS. Dynamic Carriers like Domestic Staff who visit 5-6 homes and have access to the entire household and travel in Public Transport and Salesmen that visit multiple sites criss-crossing the city should be Discouraged till situation stabilises further.” Suggested Mr Pankaj Aggarwal of Delhi RWA Joint Front.

“Footpaths should be cleared off Encroachments & Stalls as these places attract congregation of people and make walking with Social Distancing impossible.Odd/Even for Cars & Two-Wheelers with no exemptions be announced to discourage movement and equal opportunity of vocation for all.

Containment Zones Effectively Sealed and made Public on Regular basis so that Service Providers from such areas can be discouraged from venturing out.

Work from Home and 50% Staff on ODD?EVEN basis be encouraged till situation stabilises.” Suggested Mr V.K.Arora, convener of Delhi Residents Forum

RWA’s have also urged the Chief minister to please pass an urgent order to Standardise Cost of Consumables, Medicines & Treatment Protocol.  Ofcourse you may classify treatment into various Categories and fix a lump-sum charge basis A, B or C Category of Facility similar to guidelines issued for various Categories of Hotels. So that families of patients know before hand the level of facilities they opt for. The cost thus fixed should not be in the form of Subsidy to be reimbursed.

The other suggestions include Tests in Private Labs be made FREE, as Employers will be hesitant to have staff back to work for fear of being contaminated. However the Cost should be reimbursed to the Approved Private Labs from the PM CARES FUND after all Delhiites have also contributed to that Fund.

Public transport should be allowed with Odd/Even for TAXIES & AUTOS be announced to avoid congestion and equal opportunity of earnings for all.

Buses and Metro can open can start plying with 50% occupancy with Maskes and Sanitisation Protocols in Place, else no point opening Offices and Industries.Goods Carriers can be allowed for for transportation of Merchandise, Household Luggage and Equipment while shifting Residences, with Precautions.

Sectors that SHOULD NOT get Relaxation suggested by RWA include   Construction Activity in Residential Areas should not be allowed till situation stabilises., Coaching Centres being invariably overcrowded, be mandated to run only on-line classes.Leisure, Entertainment & Tourism, Gyms, Spas, Saloons, Luxury Goods etc.Pan & Gutkha should be Banned as people indulge in Spitting in Public Spaces.Eateries should not be allowed, however Home Delivery / Takeaways can continue.

The other suggestions also include RWAs should be allowed Micro Level Planning basis the Ground Reality of the area they serve as they work with the Principle of Majority Opinion of 85-90%, way better than Governments in Power with 35-40% First Past the Post Majority.

RWAs should be allowed to Close Colony Gates and have only one Entry/Exit to Monitor Movement of Vehicles and Pedestrians as there are many desperate, hungry and jobless people who may resort to crimes like Thefts, Snatching etc.

In conclusion we wish to state that RWAs shall extend full support in Phased Opening of Economic Activity that is well thought out and away from Residential Areas. THE CHAOTIC OPENING OF LIQUOR VENDS SHOULD SERVE AS A TUTORIAL ON HOW NOT TO FUNCTION. RWAs Role in Last Mile Civic Governance and espousing Public Cause are well established, please do consider the above suggestions for a SMOOTH TRANSITION INTO THE NEW NORMAL.

Source: Varinder Arora