LUCKNOW: Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases in the state, the administration has imposed strict restrictions like night curfew and restrictions on attendees at weddings, but this has adversely affected the event industry which is still recovering from the aftermath of lockdown.
The night curfew imposed in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, coupled with the Delhi government's guidelines is either affecting the sales of wedding accessories or resulting in the cancellation of the booking of banquets, halls for wedding functions.
"Speaking to ANI, Pramod Chaturvedi, general manager of a hotel Clarks Avadh said, "It is not possible to attend guests with the night curfew restrictions, people will not come to attend. We are receiving huge calls from our customers about the cancellation. We are trying to convince them that restrictions are only for a week. But in case these reactions will continue, there will not be an option rather than cancellation."
According to the people involved in businesses linked to weddings, the night curfew imposed in the city has adversely affected them.
"How can I finish my work at any function by 9 pm (when curfew comes into effect)? Customers are canceling orders," a horse-drawn carriages operator said on Thursday.
"Last year lockdown collapsed our business, we somehow managed to run our houses with our savings and as soon as the wedding season started this year, these restrictions are again affecting our business. We would not have any other option than to starve," said a wedding music band operator.
After investing huge capital in wedding clothes, shop owners are worried about the sale and afraid about recovering the investment this year.
"Even though it is a wedding season, the sales are down. If this situation continues, how will we pay the salaries of our employees?" a cloth store owner said.
A night curfew has been imposed in Uttar Pradesh's capital Lucknow, Kanpur, and Varanasi with effect from Thursday night.
Meanwhile, as per the Union health ministry, there are currently 31,987 active cases in Uttar Pradesh. So far, 6,04,979 recoveries and 8,964 deaths have been reported. As many as 1,26,789 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Thursday, taking the total number of infections to 1,29,28,574. Currently, there are 9,10,319 active cases in the country.
In Bareilly, the night curfew will be imposed from Friday, while similar restrictions were imposed in Kanpur and the Lucknow Municipal Corporation areas on Wednesday, taking the number of such districts to seven.
Till Thursday, coronavirus has killed 9,003 people in the state, while the infection count stands at 6,54,404.
The fresh restrictions will be in force from 10 pm to 5 am till April 17 from Thursday night in Gautam Buddh Nagar and Ghaziabad, the orders said.
The movement of essential goods or commodities and medical and other essential services will be exempted from the restrictions, the orders issued by the Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddh Nagar district magistrates said.
All government and private educational institutes, except medical, paramedical and nursing colleges, shall be barred from holding physical classes till April 17 in the two districts.
All exams, however, shall be held according to the schedule and are exempted from this order.
Gautam Buddh Nagar DM Suhas L Y said there should be an intensive enforcement of masks and other anti-COVID protocols in public places, including workplaces, by police and incident commanders and by departments concerned.
"The night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am will be imposed from tonight till April 17 to efficiently check the spread of the COVID-19 in Ghaziabad," Ghaziabad DM Ajay Shankar Pandey said.
Central and state government officials, medical staff will remain exempt from the night restrictions.
Pregnant women and those in need of medical help too are exempted, the orders said.
Travellers going to the airport, railway stations and bus stands will be allowed movement during the night if they show valid travel tickets, the orders stated.
Print and electronic media workers, too, will be exempted from the restrictions.
People violating the restrictions will be punished under the Disaster Management Act, the two administrations warned.
In Allahabad, the authorities imposed the night curfew from 10 pm to 8 am till April 20.
According to an order issued by DM Bhanu Chandra Goswami, schools will remain closed and only students appearing for board classes will be allowed to come to the school.
In Meerut, the restrictions will remain in force from 10 pm to 5 am till April 18.
According to the orders issues by DM K Balaji, schools, colleges and coaching centres will also remain shut during the period.
However, examinations will continue.
In Bareilly, night curfew will be imposed from Friday from 9 pm to 6 am in areas falling under municipal corporation's jurisdiction.
The order, issued by District Magistrate Nitish Kumar, will continue till April 20.
(With PTI Inputs)(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)