10pm-5am curfew in Delhi and Noida forces weddings to shift to Gurugram

Delhi ; 12 April, 2021 (Times of India)

GURUGRAM: The 10pm-5am curfew in Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad and a cap on wedding guests have prompted organizers in these NCR cities to look for banquet halls and party lawns in Gurugram.

Hall owners in the city said there had been a 25-30% increase in the number of enquiries from neighboring areas where restrictions at night are in place. Many of them pointed out that since the wedding season would begin in a week and most of the auspicious occasions are late at night, it would not be possible to hold the event during the day.
“The administrations in Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad have suddenly imposed restrictions on movement at night. So, people who had been planning the weddings of their family members are now scrambling for venues in places with fewer curbs, such as Gurugram, Mussoorie and Dehradun. While some have been deferring the events indefinitely, others are planning a small daytime or evening ceremony,” a wedding planner in the city said. Anil Rao, president of the Haryana tent dealers’ association, iterated that they had been getting calls from various NCR cities. “On an average, every fourth booking now is from outside Gurugram,” he said.

People said they were left with little choice but to shift the wedding venues because the auspicious occasions like lagan and pheras have to be done late at night, when the curbs would be in place. “Usually, the muhurat for pheras in Hindu weddings is around 2am or 3am. The wedding itself starts after 9pm. Since other cities have imposed curfew at night, we have had to shift our venue to Gurugram,” said Sugam Vohra, a Dwarka resident whose daughter is getting married. Tushar Dutt, a resident from Munirka Vihar in Delhi, echoed him. “We have changed the venue and rescheduled most of the events from 9pm to 6pm. We have booked an open space for 500 people because most of our guests are from Gurugram. We are also looking for a hotel for the guests as they would not be able to return at night,” he added.

The administrations of Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad had last week imposed curfew between 10pm and 5am. The Delhi government has capped the number of guests at weddings at 50. UP has ordered that no more than 100 people should gather in open areas and 50 in indoor halls.

In Haryana, the government has issued guidelines that 50% of the total capacity of an indoor hall should be occupied but the number of guests should not exceed 200. For lawns and other open areas, not more than 500 people can gather at a time.

Wedding organisers in Gurugram and Delhi questioned the guidelines. “The limit on 200 and 500 people is not justified for big hotels and banquet halls. The government should allow hotels to take a call on the number of guests to be allowed, depending on the size of the hall. It would have been better had the number of guests allowed was half the capacity of a banquet hall rather than a fixed number,” said Sanjeev Kumar, senior vice-president of the Haryana banquet halls association.

Yogesh Garg, the owner of a banquet in Delhi’s Mahipalpur, said around 25% of his bookings have been cancelled. “We have decided to organize functions between 3pm and 8.30pm. But tell me, what good will this curfew do at night? Gatherings are bound to take place, be it day or night. How can they stop it? What if the people who attend a wedding in Gurugram come back to Delhi with Covid?” he asked.