Analysis: Delhi Reopens a Crack Amid Uncertain Economic Prospects for India
The Indian capital lifted restrictions on manufacturing and construction, critical drivers of an economy that has been battered by the pandemic.
The Indian capital, which just weeks ago suffered the devastating force of the coronavirus, with tens of thousands of new infections daily and funeral pyres that burned day and night, is taking its first steps back toward normalcy.
Officials on Monday reopened manufacturing and construction activity, allowing workers in those industries to return to their jobs after six weeks of staying at home to avoid infection. The move came after a sharp drop in new infections, at least by the official numbers, and as hospital wards emptied and the strain on medicine and supplies has eased.
Life on the streets of Delhi is not expected to return to normal immediately. Schools and most businesses are still closed. The Delhi Metro system, which reopened after last year’s nationwide lockdown, has suspended service again.
But the city government’s easing of restrictions will allow people like Ram Niwas Gupta and his employees to begin returning to work — and, more broadly, to start to repair India’s ailing, pandemic-struck economy. Mr. Gupta, a construction company owner, must replace the migrant workers who fled Delhi when a second wave of the coronavirus struck in April, but he was confident that business would return to normal soon.
Photo courtesy of TRD Studios.