Staring at losses, Chandigarh traders want odd-even for shops

Staring at losses, Chandigarh traders want odd-even for shops

The closed Sector 17 market in the city on Thursday. Manoj Mahajan

Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 13

Staring at financial losses due to closing down of non-essential shops, traders have urged the UT Administration to reconsider its decision of imposing corona curfew for a longer period in the city.

Opposing the decision of the Administration, Charanjiv Singh, president, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, said the Administration should allow non-essential shops to open during the partial lockdown. “When banks, offices and industries are open and people are moving freely, there is no justification in closing down shops,” he said, adding that at least the shops should be allowed to open on the pattern of the Punjab Government on an odd-even basis as traders have a liability to pay rent, salaries, bank interest and other bills. “Also, there is a need for announcing a relief package for the traders,” he said, adding that they had already suffered huge losses during the lockdown period last year.

In an appeal, Kamaljit Singh Panchhi, president, Chandigarh Traders Association, Sector 17, urged UT Administrator VP Singh Badnore to reconsider the previous decision under the present scenario. “Either there should be a complete lockdown or shops should be allowed to open on an odd-even basis as Chandigarh is the common capital of Punjab and Haryana and the maximum cases are coming from these states,” he said, adding that to break the chain of coronavirus transmission, which is claiming precious lives, this partial lockdown would not solve the purpose.

He urged the Administrator to announce some financial aid for traders, who were suffering from huge losses during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Arvind Jain, president, Vyapar Sadan, had suggested that all types of rehri markets and booths (either essential or non-essential) in commercial markets should be allowed to operate from 6 am to noon daily and all SCFs and SCOs (dealing in either essential or non-essential services) should be allowed to operate from 1 pm to 6 pm daily.

He said all shops operating in the Industrial Area/ Ram Darbar should be allowed to function from 1 pm to 6 pm on all working days.

There should be a total lockdown/curfew from 6.30 pm to 5.30 am on all working days and there should be a total lockdown/curfew on Sundays. No service/trade (either essential or non-essential) should be allowed to operate during this total lockdown and only hawkers/rehrirs should be allowed on Sundays on streets within the sectors from 6 am to noon.

“This way, all traders will function, but only half the market will be operational in one time slot,” he said.