Chandigarh shopkeepers protest weekend lockdown

Ask Chandigarh Administration to review decision

Chandigarh shopkeepers protest weekend lockdown

Shops selling non-essentials remained closed at the Sector 22 market in Chandigarh on Saturday. photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, August 22

City traders today held a protest against the decision of the UT Administration to close all shops on weekends, except those selling essential items, on weekends.

Anil Vohra, president, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, said it was unfortunate that the UT Administration announced the weekend lockdown for shopkeepers only. This despite the fact that most cases were being reported from residential areas, villages and government offices in the city, he added. “The Administration has adopted a pick-and-choose policy. How will we survive and pay rent, employees’ salary, electricity and water bills and other taxes?” Vohra asked.

All shops, barring those selling grocery, bakery items and medicines, remained closed in the city today. Several shopkeepers in Mani Majra reached the market to open their shops in the morning. On getting information, senior police officials reached there and prevented them from opening their shops.

UT Adviser Manoj Parida said the decision to close the shops on weekends was taken to prevent shoppers’ rush. “We have no plans to disrupt the normal functioning of private sector offices, industries, hotels and banks, which can operate by observing social distancing norms,” he said. Neeraj Bajaj, president, Chandigarh Business Council, stated that the weekend lockdown gave a jolt to the business community. “Two-day lockdown results in 40 per cent loss of business,” he added. Bajaj and Vohra appealed to the Administration to review the decision and allow shops to open seven days a week.

Situation in Mohali

The weekend lockdown was enforced fully in Kumbhra, Sohana, Mataur, Shahi Majra, Madanpur and Mohali city. Eateries and shops selling confectionery items, groceries, medicines and other essentials remained open. While small shops in Zirakpur were closed, stores like DMart, Walmart and Metro were open. — TNS

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