Shopping centres and malls have requested the Delhi government to ease restrictions and allow operations of malls beyond 8 pm, citing falling number of COVID-19 cases. In a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Shopping Centres Association of India (SCAI) also assured him that it will take all precautions and adhere to the directives issued by the authorities.
The sector, which has already suffered a loss due to successive lockdowns, recently resumed operations after bearing many operational costs, SCAI added.
“It is, therefore, our humble request to kindly allow the functioning of shopping malls beyond 8 pm and help the industry to continue the momentum of revival after a long hiatus. We assure you that we would take all precautions and adhere to the directives issued by the authorities,” it said.
In December last year, several state governments, including Delhi had imposed strict restrictions in a move to curb the rapid spread of Omicron variant of the coronavirus. In Delhi, multiplexes were closed, dining in restaurants was prohibited and only takeaways were allowed.
This was reviewed periodically by the respective authorities after assessing the situation and the decline in the number of cases.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority had on February 4, 2022, allowed malls to function till 8 pm.
“Post the 2nd lockdown, restrictions have been lifted in almost all states. Most of the larger cities have been able to vaccinate large populations with both doses. COVID-19 cases are also on decline and hospitalisation is almost negligible. We request the Chief Minister of Delhi also to allow shopping malls to revert to normal operational hours, thereby helping the industry in improving the momentum of revival after a long hiatus,” SCAI Chairman Mukesh Kumar said.
SCAI represents owners of shopping malls and centres spread across the country. All major builders owning malls are also represented by SCAI.