Tribune News Service
Amritsar, May 6
Resentment prevails among shopkeepers, especially those who have not been allowed to open their shops, following the restrictions of the state government in the city. A large number of shopkeepers have been categorised for offering non-essential items and the police are not allowing them to open shops.
Traders claim that they earn their livelihood through shops and it would not be wise if the government imposes restrictions on some shops by categorizing them “non-essential” for offering non-essential items. “How the government can consider something non-essential and even a shop ‘non-essential’. My shop is essential for me as I earn livelihood by selling readymade food. The government imposed a partial lockdown for 15 days. If it would continue for more 15 days, how will I pay my expenses?” asked Rajiv Joshi, an owner of a cloth shop at Katra Jaimal Singh.
Meanwhile, market associations and traders are demanding from the government to adopt a rotation system instead of categorising shops for offering essential and non-essential items.
A delegation of shopkeepers from Chheharta met the SHO, Chheharta police station, and demanded from MLA Raj Kumar Verka to adopt a coding system as administration adopted last year.
Kawaljeet Singh, president, Chheharta Sangharsh Committee, said, “Last year, during the first wave of Covid-19, the administration gave alphabetic codes to the shops. There were three codes A, B and C. It was perfectly implemented and all shopkeepers used to get a chance to sell their goods. We have conducted a meeting with shopkeepers in the market and they all agreed that the alphabetic code system should be implemented. We urge the government to adopt some rational policy otherwise our business would be ruined.”
Meanwhile, the city police conducted an awareness drive on Majitha Road and asked traders and residents to follow the guidelines.
Parveen Kumar, SHO, Sadar, said, “We are making people aware of the guidelines of the government. The shops offering grocery and dairy products are not allowed to violate the social distancing norms. Other shops offering non-essential items are not allowed to open but shopkeepers largely violate it. We have issued a warning and action will be taken against them.”
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