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Delhi RWAs Upset over Lockdown Relaxation to Domestic Help

Image for representation. (REUTERS)

Image for representation. (REUTERS)

The Delhi state government on May 3 extended relaxation in services provided by self-employed persons.

Even as the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the national capital is on the rise, the Delhi government's order allowing services provided by self-employed persons has not gone down well with the residents, who say the decision to allow domestic helps to return to work will take Delhi to "disaster".

"We have seen 1,400 cases in the last 4 days, still you want to relax restrictions. It is time when you need to be more cautions; the cases would rise more than ever before," said B.S Vohra, President of East Delhi RWAs Joint Front-Federation.

Vohra, however, said allowing plumbers and electricians to return to business was justified as life without water and electricity cannot be imagined. But allowing maids was "unjustified" as people can do their daily chores without domestic helps.

"We were all doing our chores for over a month now, but with government allowing domestic helps to return to work, it has become difficult now to convince some residents to not allow maids in their houses," Vohra said.

President of Delhi's biggest RWA union, Union Residents' Joint Action of Delhi (URJA), Atul Goyal, too spoke against the order.

"The order is vague, the government has just forwarded Central government's order to the state, there is no foresight from the state government. You have to understand that a domestic helps goes to various houses and, in the current scenario, how can one be sure that any one of those houses is not infected by virus," Goyal questioned.

Goyal's organisation URJA is an umbrella body of over 2,500 RWAs in Delhi.

Goyal also demanded the state government to bring a new plan for liquor sales, as he claimed that long queues outside these shops will prove to be dangerous.

"When you can distribute ration at home, then why not liquor? You can charge 10 per cent extra for delivery so that people do not step out of houses to get alcohol," Goyal said.

The state government on May 3 extended relaxation in services provided by self-employed persons -- electrician, plumber, lift technician, A/C mechanic, vehicle mechanic, generator mechanic, TV mechanic, Dish TV/ Cable/ CCTV mechanic, computer and internet service provider, opticians, private security guards/ supervisors, gas service, CNG pipeline technicians, sanitation workers, domestic helps/ maids, laundry and press-wallah. They are permitted along with shops related to raw material and on-site construction activities.

first published:May 05, 2020, 17:34 IST