New borders crush hopes of peak season wedding industry
The wedding industry envisions crippling financial losses after COVID restrictions took effect last Tuesday, delaying many marriages.
What are the new rules?
As per the guidelines of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), only 20 people are allowed for weddings which must be performed in court or at home only. Additionally, banquet halls and other wedding venues have been closed under the first level of restrictions in Covid’s Graduated Response Action Plan (GRAP).
How has this affected the industry so far?
The rule has precipitated many people to cancel their reservations at wedding and banquet halls in the capital. This has resulted in huge losses for the wedding industry including wedding planners, caterers, makeup artists, decorators, music planners and most importantly venue owners.
The industry which has suffered losses for two consecutive years due to the pandemic is now wary of a recovery this season, especially with the new curbs and a total ban.
What are industry insiders saying?
Banquet hall owners
“This situation was killing us already. No marriage means no income. Our business is at an all-time low. We really need substantial help getting us back and running,” said Gagan, owner of Ritz Banquets in Delhi.
The banquet hall located at Kirti Nagar in Delhi used to be full of events. Famous for weddings, post-pandemic, it has only tried to revive itself. “We can handle the standards of social distancing in the banquet halls. We had reservations in advance, now people are asking for cancellations. It will cost us dearly,” he added.
Gagan said, âThe money we take from people, we also give it to people who are doing decorating, flower arrangements, music DJing, catering. When people cancel, we have to pay them back. but we have already spent the money for these services for them. “
IndiaTimes spoke to another wedding venue owner who said the government must heed the plight of those trying to run their businesses in the wedding industry.
âIf Covid doesn’t kill us, it will. When restaurants and bars are allowed to open at 50% of their capacity, why are the banquet halls completely closed? We ask the government to partially open the banquet halls, with a seating arrangement consistent with social distancing The government should be thinking of us, âsaid Aman, owner of Crown Banquet Halls, Kapashera.
Aman added, “It’s a total loss for us. People have started to postpone weddings and many have canceled reservations for fear of foreclosure. Many have even started opting for destination weddings at NCR.”
“It is the high season for weddings and at least 30-40 wedding-related events, birthdays, anniversaries are taking place here. It will not only affect us, but will also affect staff and workers,” he said. .
Owners of music groups
“We will die if these restrictions continue like this. We have already faced many problems in the past two years due to the lockdown. Now the same situation is back,” Raju Bandwala told Kirti Nagar. He said: “There are a lot of people who are associated with me, I also have to think about their survival.”
“The government should make a smart decision instead of a blanket ban. We also have families, we also have to worry about their survival,” said a band owner who chose to remain anonymous.
Sanjay Khullar of the Delhi Catering Association said the government could instead take tough action against violators and make standards more stringent without shutting down businesses entirely.
“We accept that precaution is crucial in preventing the spread of Covid. But while the industry is already taking so many safety measures and precautions, the termination of their operations will lead to disaster,” Khullar said.
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