Weekend lockdown hits supply of goods; vendors, public suffer

Weekend lockdown hits supply of goods; vendors, public suffer

A market wears a deserted look in Amritsar on Saturday.

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 15

The weekend lockdown has affected the supply of several goods, including essential items, in the city. Reasons: the administration has reduced the timings for vegetable markets in the morning hours and only wholesalers are allowed to enter the market.

Vegetable vendors claim that they do not get enough time to buy all the items due to the short duration allowed for purchasing items. The police allow the vegetable vendors to buy veggies up to 10 am. It leads to temporary shortage of some items as well as overcharging.

“We have to visit the wholesale market daily to buy goods, but due to time constraints we are unable to get even 50 per cent items of daily use. On Friday, we have to shop for three days and often do not get the required items from the wholesale market. The manufacturing units are also hit by the weekend lockdown and the evening curfew. Traders supply the items only on cash payment due to the uncertainty on the complete lockdown,” said Jagjeet Singh, owner of a grocery shop.

Despite several restrictions on the opening of commercial establishments and vehicular traffic, the crowd is still gathering in the main markets of the city on weekdays. The administration has allowed the opening of one side of the markets but residents can be seen violating the rules. The hurry to end all works before the closing of shops also leads to crowding at the marketplaces.

Meanwhile, there is no check on the violation of social distancing in markets before 5 pm. The police become active at 5 pm and enforce the night curfew but before this they generally do not interfere in the markets. Taking advantage of these relaxations, residents gather in the markets. There are some markets in the city where the closing of one side row of shops does not make much difference.

Besides the city, residents of rural areas are also not following the Covid-19 guidelines properly.

As the banks have reduced the working hours, the branches in rural areas also witness a rush of customers. Despite the circles marked outside the banks, most customers can be seen violating the guidelines.

“The residents should follow the restrictions strictly otherwise the government may impose complete lockdown. The death toll in the city is increasing by the day. The residents should cooperate with the administration,” Jaswant Singh, a local social worker.

Police officials have also appealed to the residents to follow the guidelines. “The government doesn’t want to disrupt commercial activities as it would result in financial hardship. All trade and commercial activities are allowed on the weekdays. People should show concern for the lives of others and follow the social distancing norm in the markets,” said Sarbajit Singh, a Sub-Inspector.

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