Most of the shopping mall owners in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida decided to keep them closed even after a green signal from the authorities to resume business. On the first day of Unlock 1.0, very few shopping malls in Noida opened their doors for customers, while The Great India Place, DLF Mall of India along with a few others remained shut.

“We will take a few days to open our mall, as we need to train our staff, guards and other employees. It may take a few more days to implement government guidelines,” Virendra Tyagi, the official representative of The Great India Place, said.

However, malls like Shopprix and Gaur City resumed their operations after a prolonged lockdown but the footfall remained low. Gaur City, which received around 1,000 customers, distributed masks to visitors who walked in without any face cover.

The shopping malls that have opened are following the guidelines like thermal screening at the entrance, social distancing, wearing masks, not more than four persons in the lift and not more than 50 per cent occupancy in the eatery area.

The Noida authorities conducted a meeting with all stakeholders before allowing them to reopen their shopping malls. “For all those activities permitted by the state government, due to start from June 8, no separate permission is required. They can start with all the prescribed precautions. We held meeting with hotel and mall representatives regarding suggested measures by the government,” Suhas LY, district magistrate of Gautam Buddha Nagar, said.

While the Centre has allowed the shopping malls to function with restrictions, mall owners claim that last-minute permission by the state authorities has not given them sufficient time to prepare their complexes to adhere the government guidelines.

With the opening of a few malls, life is slowly limping back to normalcy for the people of Noida but the rising cases of novel coronavirus are still a major concern. On Monday, Gautam Budhh Nagar reported 21 new cases of Covid-19 taking the district’s tally to 653.

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