It’s an unwise decision

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Opening of parks & gardens

The decision of Jammu and Kashmir administration regarding opening of all parks and gardens in the union territory has come as a surprise and also as a shock for everyone having an eye on the spread of Covid-19 pandemic here. Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, Baseer Ahmad Khan made the announcement regarding the opening of parks and gardens on Tuesday, however, stressing that all the people should strictly observe the protocols and medical advice related to the COVID-19 pandemic. He requested the people to wear face masks, use hand sanitizers and maintain social distancing norms both inside and outside these places. The administration has made arrangements for thermal screening of people at the entry gates of gardens and parks.

The decision has been taken at a time when nearly 9000 people in Jammu and Kashmir have already tested positive for Covid-19 and infection related deaths are nearing 150. In such an alarming situation, one would expect the UT administration to be busy trying and finding the ways and means to scuttle the dangerous spread of the deadly virus. One would like the administration going for aggressive testing and ensuring that following Unlock 2, the set protocol to stop spread of the virus is followed.

The people have already started taking the risks posed by Coronavirus very easy. A cursory look, in and around Srinagar city, suggests how serious people are in following the do’s and don’ts set by health advisories. Negligible percentage of people is wearing masks and social distancing too is not being followed properly. During lockdown period, people behaved responsibly and there was a hope that peoples’ responsive attitude will help flatten the deadly curve of the Coronavirus. However, with the easing of restrictions, people too started becoming more complacent helping the virus to spread more ferociously.

In such a situation, there is every reason to feel surprised and shocked by the administration’s decision of opening gardens and parks. One fails to understand the wisdom behind such decision. While the virus is spreading like jungle fire, particularly in Kashmir Valley, the administration, instead of taking measures to put off the fire, is providing it an even field to spread as far as it can. The concerned citizens are worried about the fall-out of such decisions and therefore the UT administration need to rethink its decision. More than picnicking in gardens and parks what is important and of primary concern is the safety of human lives. Amid spread of Covid-19 the picnicking will benefit none but, on the other hand, these picnic spots can help Coronavirus to have a field day and consume more and more lives. Hopefully the administration understands this reality and takes back its decision forthwith.

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