‘50 % opening of shops a futile exercise, Admin should consider lockdown on weekends’
Srinagar, Apr 21: The traders’ community here in Srinagar has termed the government order regarding 50 per cent opening of shops as futile exercise, saying that the government should rather consider imposing lockdown on weekends to control the crowd in the market places.
“In wake of the surge in the COVID-19 cases, there is a need to control the crowd in the markets instead of closing down the shops and other business establishments,” the traders said.
According to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the shopkeepers from Polo view to Ganta Ghar (Clock Tower) including Residency Road, Bund, Lambert lane, Fair Deal complex and Regal Chowk here have re-constituted the Traders Joint coordination Committee today to come up with a joint suggestions and other strategies in wake of the spike in the cases.
Fayaz Ahmad Punjabi, President of the Traders Joint coordination Committee said that the odd-even and 50 per cent opening of the shops will not force the people to come out of their homes. “This order is simply useless as it will not help in curbing the crowd in the markets. We want that the working hours in the markets should be from 11:00 AM to 05:00 PM and impose lockdown on weekends like being done in Delhi at present,” he said.
He said that they were called by the authorities today in this regard and they put forth their suggestions. “We are meeting the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Srinagar tomorrow in this regard and will put forth our suggestions there as well,” Punjabi said.
Meanwhile, Kashmir Traders Manufacturing Federation (KTMF) President, Muhammad Yasin Khan told KNO that the trade body has also held a meeting over the government’s directive about shops. “This order was nothing less than a shock to us as we have to focus on curbing the crowd in the markets instead of closing down the shops, which will affect the economy,” he said.
He added that one fails to understand why the markets are being targeted only when the government offices, banks and other places too are witnessing huge rush of people almost every day. “The government instead of closing the business establishments should focus on other alternative measures that will help in combating the virus,” Khan said.
Pertinently, District Magistrate, who is also the chairman DDMA, Mohammad Ajaz had said on Tuesday that markets having shops on both sides of the road will remain open on a rotation basis on a particular day while markets having shops on one side of the road will remain open on an odd-even basis.
“Shops on one side of the road only shall open on a particular day/date. The other side shall remain closed completely. The sequence of opening shall be on Rotation basis. Markets having shops on one side of the Road only will be open on an odd-even basis. Odd numbered shops to open on odd dates and even numbered shops to open on even dates,” reads the order—(KNO)