Covid 19: ‘Asia’s biggest’ cloth market shut, traders call move ‘unjustified’

Some had violated left-right system on opening of shops

Covid 19: ‘Asia’s biggest’ cloth market shut, traders call move ‘unjustified’

A file photo of Shouri Cloth Market in Rohtak.

Ravinder Saini

Tribune News Service

Rohtak, July 19

Shouri Cloth Market, touted as Asia’s biggest market, has been closed till further orders in view of crowd and violations of guidelines issued by the district administration to contain the spread of Covid pandemic.

Sources said the district authorities had directed the traders of the market to open their shops on left-right system, but many did not follow the directives and opened their shops against the turn leading to crowding in the market.

Some Covid cases have also surfaced in the market. All this forced the authorities to issue closure orders, sources claimed.

The closure orders were issued by District Magistrate RS Verma on Sunday while exercising his power under various sections of the Epidemic Disaster Act, 1857, Disaster Management Act, 2005, and Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

“The fear of Covid infection still remains in Shouri Cloth Market following the persistent crowd hence the issuance of closure orders is imperative to check spread of pandemic. The market will remain closed till further orders,” said the DM in his orders.

He maintained the Covid pandemic had gripped the entire world and there was still no vaccine available for its treatment hence it posed a threat to human life. The situation will be reviewed after three days to take further decisions in this respect, he added.

The Shouri Cloth market established in 1951 has over 1,200 shops of wholesale and retail. Cloth is supplied to Rajasthan, Delhi, west Uttar Pradesh and across Haryana from here.

The Rohtak Wholesale Cloth Mercantile Association has described the closures orders as ‘unjustified’ stating that it would further cause financial loss to the distress traders.

“It’s a festival season and people were coming to the market to buy clothes in view of ‘Teej’ and ‘Raksha Bandhan’ hence resentment prevails among the traders against the orders. The authorities should have issued challan and slapped penalty on the violators in place of closing the market,” said Rajeev Malhotra, President of the association.

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