Delhi banquet hall owners seek to make up for lost time
Banquet hall owners and those involved in allied marriage-related businesses breathed a sigh of relief after the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) issued an order on Saturday allowing the banquet halls to reopen from Monday in as part of its measures to gradually unlock Capital after a nearly two-month lockdown that was put in place following the fourth wave of Covid-19 in the capital.
In accordance with the unlocking rules issued by the DDMA, weddings can take place in banquet halls with a number of guests limited to 50. However, if a wedding takes place in court or at home, the current limit of 20 people is stays in place.
Ramesh Dang, president of the Community Welfare Banquet Association Delhi, said he was happy that the restrictions were relaxed after nearly two months. âWe welcome the move. It was long overdue. We reach out to our staff. While some are in Delhi, some have returned to their home countries, âsaid Dang.
He said that while some reservations were made months ago, reservations canceled or postponed in the midst of the fourth wave of Covid-19 are now being rescheduled. âBy tomorrow (Monday), things will fall into place. We have written to the Chief Minister and the Lieutenant Governor and are relieved that the restrictions have been relaxed, albeit a bit late, âDang said.
He said that while other states, such as Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, relaxed the restrictions earlier, Delhi has delayed lifting the restrictions. âSince Delhi eased restrictions after neighboring states, a lot of revenue has been directed out of the city. However, something is better than nothing, âsaid Dang.
Shiv Kumar, owner of the Carnival motel and Resort, located at GT Karnal Road, said he hopes business will pick up. âSince the decision was made only a day ago, it will take some time for the machines to kick in. Our staff is also dispersed in different locations. We’re going to start calling them, âKumar said.
He said that while the move was welcome, the wedding industry had been hit hard. âThere are only two or three dates left for this month. There are a few dates next month, but many people have already booked facilities in Haryana and other states. We have suffered a massive loss, âKumar said.
In addition to the banquet halls, allied stakeholders and industry players, including music companies, decorators, caterers and jewelers, are hoping for a recovery in business.
Virender Chawla, general manager of the Chawla Band, said that although business had been affected, he hoped it would recover. âSince last night (Saturday), we started to receive requests from people. People are educating themselves and we are hopeful that things will pick up. Delhi does not take long to get back on its feet. In a month or two, things will be back to normal, âsaid Chawla. The group has asked all of its employees to be vaccinated as a safety measure. âAll of our employees are vaccinated. We will follow all the rules, âsaid Chawla.
He said many people were hoping to get married in the coming weeks as there were concerns about a possible third wave. âThe number of cases is low and people want to keep their promises because things are a little better now,â said Chawla.