Only two hours to visit Lake Sukhna from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. is the main reason for the chaos inside and outside the lake area every Sunday. Close examination of the Challanized people suggests that most of them are residents of other towns in Punjab, Haryana and other remote places, a police officer said.
The police officer added, “As the time is from 6 pm to 8 pm to visit the lake on Sunday, people, especially foreigners, are starting to congregate in the green belts and parks near Sukhna Lake from from 3 p.m. When the entrance to the lake is open, thousands of visitors flock to the lake. While morning walkers are allowed at the lake from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., there are virtually no issues with social distancing, breaching COVID-19 protocols, etc.
Sukhna Lake is open to visitors from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, it is closed from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. A source said: “Comments on this trend will soon be shared with senior UT administration officials.”
Rakesh Sinha, a resident of Sector 7, said: “Although the administration allowed 6pm to 8pm on Sunday for walkers, 90% of visitors do not come for a walk by the lake. They come to enjoy the panoramic view of the lake. If the lake is open to visitors like every other day, there is a good chance that there will be less crowds in the evening. Boating should be suspended for a few months.
Sukhna Lake Police Station has 18 police officers. An additional 10 IRB cops are also assigned to the lake. There is no entry / exit point to the lake. There are at least seven staircases through which visitors can access the outskirts of the lake from the rear. At least 78 people were arrested on Saturday for violating COVID-19 standards. Thirty-two people were arrested for two hours between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday. And 47 people were arrested on Monday. The UT administration had lifted the Sunday lockdown allowing visitors to visit Lake Sukhna for limited hours on June 19. On June 25, more than 500 people were blamed for failing to follow COVID-19 standards at Lake Sukhna.