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November 11, 2020

Some marriage halls start cancelling bookings

Lahore

November 11, 2020

LAHORE:Marriage hall owners are divided in two groups on any government plan to close marriage halls in the wake of second wave of Covid-19.

A group of owners of oldest marriage halls in the city has started returning advance payments to the clients. A marriage hall owner who introduced the concept of marriage halls in Township area while returning the advance payments of the marriage functions planned in December 2020 said the owners were unaware of the fate of the halls as the government is serious to close down the marriage halls to avoid further spread of Covid-19.

He said since the situation was out of control and uncertainty prevailed in the industry so it was better to timely cancel the booking. Similar act was also made by a number of marriage halls in the other vicinities. However, contrary to this, Marriage Hall Association Vice President Malik Jhangir said that from the association platform no such call or hint was given to its members. Rather, the association is trying that the government should allow them to continue the marriage functions with enhanced SOPs including installation of industrial exhaust fans, opening up of roof and other measures to increase the ventilation, he said, adding the association was agreed for conducting regular testing of their staff.

Besides, any staff member having any Covid-19 symptom will be sent on leave and the SOPs would strictly be implemented. On the other hand open violation of Covid-19 SOPs continued in marriage functions across the city despite the all commitments and claimed made by the marriage halls, outdoor catering and other stakeholders attached with the industry. People hardly observe SOPs in marriage functions while the marriage hall managers show their inability to implement the SOPs. They said if they asked the guests to implement SOPs, they do not follow their instructions.

Meanwhile, a delegation led by patron-in-chief of Punjab Marriage Hall Association Mian Muhammad Ilyas called on Minister for Industry and Commerce Mian Aslam Iqbal here on Tuesday with a request for not closing the marriage halls.

Secretary Industry and Commerce Wasif Khurshid, President Catering Association Malik Ashfaq, President Lahore Marriage Hall Association Aqeel Ahmed and other officials were present in the meeting. Aslam Iqbal assured the delegation that the issue will be taken up in the NCOC meeting. He said a workable formula for marriage halls and marquees will be chalked out in consultation with the stakeholders. The meeting discussed the proposals of providing disposable food in marriage halls and ventilation system in marquees. It was decided that one-dish ban will be implemented strictly while the number of participants will be halved. The minister said strict action will be taken against farmhouse and marquee found in violations of the SOPs.