The highly infectious virus, Coronavirus has put almost every country in its radar to hit them furiously. India is currently on the fourth position in the list of worst Coronavirus hit countries. With infections doubling every passing day, the number of cases in India keep rising despite the lockdown announced in March. Our City Beautiful, Chandigarh is one of the cities dealing with it rigorously.
Indian Government announced one of the strictest lockdowns from March 24. Taking due diligence in action, Chandigarh announced curfew overnight throughout the Union Territory with 7 cases of COVID-19 patients. The rules and obligations put for the welfare of people to contain the spread of virus might have helped a lot in the surge of positive cases. Currently there are 90 active cases of Corona in Chandigarh.
Strict Curfew in Chandigarh
During the lockdown, Chandigarh followed a strict curfew for about 41 days and reopened the city in the first week of May. Rules were eased down to fire up the economy and stir the right amount of hope in the city people. One may call Chandigarh, also, a city of dreams for the Northern part of India. Famous for all the rightly wondrous sites such as Sukhna Lake and the truly exquisite gardens. The Le Corbusier-planned city is a place of heartstrings attached to each other singing on the tunes of well diverse music and taking the whiff of scrumptious food. Chandigarh faced problems of its own, like every other city under the grasp of COVID-19 and its effects.
Small Businesses face a setback during Lockdown in Chandigarh
Owing to its student population, Chandigarh’s business ran smoothly in terms of sales. With hundreds of small businesses put at halt, many owners feared the possibility of shutting down permanently. Stationery shops, juice corners, cyber booths are now battling for their survival as they battle the pandemic as well. PG owners are facing problems as well after students vacated the houses due to COVID-19. There has been no source of income for the owners and are likely in a dilemma of choosing the best for themselves. With no money to waive off the pending payments, many are deciding whether to sell the property or keep it.
While some owners face problems, there are students as well who are unable to pay rent to their respective landlords with no immediate incentive present. People stuck in the city, in order to avoid any form of infection, are not choosing public transports. Yet, there are landlords demanding rents from students even during this highly difficult period.
Eateries, dhabas and juice corners have faced a major setback and have suffered a loss more than 50% due to the decline in sales. With every educational centre shut, stationery shops, dependent on students, are suffering a setback in sales.
Nature breathes again in Chandigarh
However, the lockdown gave Chandigarh its long-lost serenity and a clean environment to live in. With traffic cut down to its very least, the city people finally breathe good quality air. Amid the lockdown, the tricity finally breathed an air with AQI 17, the best in 10 years. Wildlife came out actively on the streets with the absence of humans on the streets. There were pictures and videos of animals moving around the city with zero fear of humans. A residential area of Chandigarh witnessed a leopard roaming during the lockdown. City also observed an increase in bird chirping. Peacocks and deer wandered freely during the Chandigarh lockdown.
Police Emerging as Heroes
The Chandigarh Police took full responsibility for containing the virus by standing in the way of people breaking rules. While many risked their lives to stop the virus from spreading, some people defied the orders of the authorities, in regard to the lockdown. The police did a tremendous job by helping the needy and poor by providing them their service. It was also reported that many city people took the lockdown to their leisure time and started walking in the parks and gardens. However, there were also incidents of police brutality that came forward. One such incident was reported a person unaware of the rules, as found in a park and police caught him. The man was apologetic for his behavior, yet he was bashed with lathis.
A strange event came in notice when a biker man spat in public and the police decide to teach him a lesson. The police made the man clean his spit in front of his kid. The police also said it to be an unhygienic act.
Post Lockdown Life in Chandigarh
The city may revert to its pre-lockdown activities soon but that time is yet far away. As people move forward, the fear of infections will stay. Masks and sanitary equipment are here to stay for a long time. However, as the virus loses its grasp off the world, life may be easier.
Online business will definitely maintain the surge in its profits. However, poor people will face more hardships due to the lockdown caused by Coronavirus in Chandigarh.
The amount of time spent together with families might leave a lasting positive effect. With the prevailing chaos building tension in every human’s minds, the uncertainty of time will not be forgotten. It is time people learn to be more patient, more empathetic and make space for humility. Something this city is known for.
By Navya Joshi
To read more about Chandigarh, click here.