New Delhi, May 21 : Delhi's heath enthusiasts breathed a sigh of relief as they came out to jog and exercise in the fresh morning air thronging parks and gardens thrown open by the government on Thursday for walking, jogging, and running amid the staggered easing of the nation-wide lockdown.
Parks and public places were shut down since March in view of the novel Coronavirus outbreak. Two months pursuant to that, three big scenic gardens -- Lodhi Garden, Nehru Park and Talkatora Garden have now been re-opened for the public.
They will remain opened between 7.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. in the morning and 3.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. in the evening. These picturesque parks hold significance as various politicians and other high-profile people were time and again seen sauntering in them.
"Initially, the footfall will be less as people will be reluctant to come out due to fear of catching virus. However, it will slowly build up," Atul Goyal, president of URJA, a network of RWAs in Delhi, said.
In an order on Tuesday, NDMC's Director (Welfare) R.P. Gupta has stated, "With the approval of the NDMC, it has been decided to open parks and gardens of NDMC area for limited purpose of walking, jogging and running on the walking tracks from May 21, 2020 till further orders."
The civic body has directed people to follow the social distancing and other health-related protocols, adding that open gym, yoga, and any other activities will not be allowed in the parks and gardens.
Persons above 65 years of age, children below ten years of age and persons with co-morbidity and suffering from chronic disease are prohibited from visiting the area.
"Violation of the provisions of the circular Is liable to attract the penal provisions of the orders of the MHA and GNCTD issued on the subject," the New Delhi Municipal Cooperation said.
This came after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the lifting of curbs national capital on markets, public transport, parks, offices, and construction activities, saying the lockdown cannot be a permanent solution against the coronavirus pandemic.