No weddings in Noida

Bhagavati Gardens in Noida had two wedding cancelatipns this month, Photo: Krati Purwar

Noida: Empty hallways, semi-decorated gardens, one or two watchmen at the gate, and a few workers in masks are the new scenes of banquet halls in the city.
The season of festivities and celebrations has been postponed to curb the Covid-19 from spreading.
Babita Chaudhary, Management Head at the Bhagvati Garden, says two of the functions that were scheduled for late March were postponed and clients were unsure of future dates. Though they were hopeful that April would bring some relaxation from the fear of the virus.
On March 19, Business Today reported five positive cases of Corona in the city. In the wake of prevention, Noida police imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code until April 5 to prevent a gathering of more than four people in an area including weddings, trade fair, and any sort of celebration.
Even after section 144 would be there, the weddings and functions might continue with precautionary measures, Chaudhary said adding, “It all depends on the wish of the client.”
Mohammad Riyaz, Manager at The Shaurya by Rama, a luxury hotel in Noida’s sector 70, says for the past 10 days they haven’t entertained a single client. Three events were scheduled after March 15 and the clients had either cancelled or postponed them.
“They are not even picking up our calls to talk on future arrangements,” says Riyaz. Amid two watchmen, three helpers, and one secretary, there was no one in the huge half-decorated hall. “Some cancellations have been received for April as well. I am not sure if we will receive any business in the next month,” added Riyaz.
Kapil Singhal, Owner and Manager at the Frolic Farms and Banquets, says he had lost four events on that property and many other at various properties he had. “We can cope up with postponing of events but we certainly are bearing huge loses due to cancellations,” he added.
Singhal says that the events that were postponed would coincide with the events scheduled for May and June and then the customers would have to compromise. Since the coronavirus was all around the world, therefore, the customers would understand if issues of booking arise in future, he added.
Chandan Sharma, Owner of the SS Grand, says that bookings for weddings were done two or three months before, therefore, corona would not affect this month only but the consecutive months as well. However, if Section 144 would be there, they could not entertain any wishes of their guests, he added.
Since it was something abrupt and out of everyone’s control, hence, they are bearing the loses silently, added Sharma. Even more, clients asking for refund has created another issue for the wedding business because certain preparations had been made and at present, there is no certainty for the ending of Covid-19.
On March 22, the Times of India reported that more than 200 wedding functions and other events were postponed in Ghaziabad. People reported rescheduling events of April as well.
Amit Kumar Singh, Inspector Incharge of Sector 71 Phase III police station, said that the major issue with Section 144 was to curb weddings, functions, and religious gatherings like Namaz. “We can ask people, request them, and aware them but such festivities cannot be curbed just like that,” he added.
Imran Khan, Sub Inspector at the Sector 63 Police Chowki, said that if Section 144 was implemented due to communal rifts then its implementation was difficult but in the case of Covid-19, people are self-aware and refraining themselves from being a part of any large gathering.
Khan said that before the imposition of Section 144, the restaurants, clubs, and malls were conducting large parties despite the continuous coverage of Corona outbreak in the city, therefore, the police had to curb everything under the law.
Pankaj Gaur, Constable Clerk at the Sector 62 Police Station, said that any request for any kind of gatherings was immediately declined. Even the opening of the water park, Worlds of Wonder, was postponed from March 23 until further notice.
“The celebrations of Navratri will be delayed or curbed because many societies and malls are not being responsible for the health of guests and citizens around,” Gaur added.
On February 15, 2020, News18 reported that to maintain law and order during UP, CBSE, and ICSE board exams, protests, and demonstrations, the Noida police had imposed Section 144 in Gautam Buddh Nagar for a month.
On December 20, 2019, the Times Now reported that to curb any act of violence during Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests, Section 144 was imposed in the city.

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