Covid-19: Thousands throng Chandigarh Rock Garden on first day of reopening

According to Rock Garden officials, of the 2,700 visitors on the first day, 2,500 were adults and 200 children. (Picture courtesy: IE)

A whopping 2,700 visitors thronged the Rock Garden in Chandigarh on the first day of its reopening on Wednesday. The sculpture garden usually records footfalls of around 1,500 on other days. The administration of the Union Territory on Tuesday ordered the reopening of the popular tourist site as the city’s daily Covid-19 caseload continued to dip.

According to Rock Garden officials, of the 2,700 visitors on the first day, 2,500 were adults and 200 children. The charges for an adult to enter the garden is Rs 30, while that for a child is Rs 10. The official said the number of visitors stands at around 1,500 on routine days. The garden recorded the highest visitor footfall of 7,000 on New Year’s Eve. He added that the weather being pleasant, coupled with the fact that the garden had been closed for a while, led to more visitors than usual.

The footfall is expected to go up even further during the weekends. City residents have suggested that if the tourist rush at the city’s recreational places continued to rise like that witnessed at the Rock Garden, the administration needed to take steps to keep these places closed during peak hours.

The administration of Chandigarh has also allowed cinemas to reopen with 50 per cent capacity. However, the city’s cinemas did not open for the public on Wednesday. PVR is yet to announce a date for its reopening. Cinema halls that had reopened after the first wave had recorded abysmally low footfall. Only one person had watched a film on the first day that cinemas reopened. Apart from the fear of contracting Covid-19, the lack of any top-draw releases also contributed to the dismal footfall.

An Elante Mall official said they were sanitising the facility, adding that PVR was yet to make any announcements about the reopening. He added the scenario would be clear by the week’s end.

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