Many favour, some oppose extended window for commercial establishments
As a measure to encourage commercial activities in the State during the lockdown with relaxations, the Uttarakhand government had recently extended the time for keeping shops open from nine hours to 12 hours per day. While several businessmen and shopkeepers of Dehradun welcomed this decision, some expressed their concern over this relaxation. According to them, it is dangerous to extend business hours when the number of Covid-19 positive cases are increasing every day in the state. In fact, some are still closing their shops around 4 PM instead of keeping them open till 7 PM as allowed by the government. However, according to the city president of Udyog Vyapar Mandal, Pankaj Masson, there are only a few businessmen who are opposing this decision of government. He said, “We have been following the government’s instructions for more than two months now to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.
As a result, the situation looks better here than in various developed countries. So I believe the government must have allowed the commercial activities from 7 AM to 7 PM after considering several factors this time too.” Some local businessmen opined that the number of Covid-19 positive patients is increasing consistently in the State which can cause contagion among the locals too in Dehradun. “Recently, positive cases were found in Niranjanpur Mandi. We do not want anything like that to happen in the market area. Those who want to shop can come by 4 PM. The extended time limit is giving people another reason to come out of their house and roam around in the name of visiting market for shopping,” said a local businessman Vipin Sharma. On such remarks, Masson stated that those who have problem with this decision can close their shops at any time they want. The government is not forcing anyone to open their stores till 7 PM, he said. “There are many businessmen, shopkeepers and vendors who are not doing well financially and they need income to feed their families. During summer, people do not come out in the sun and prefer to shop in the evening. Also, people who are working by 4 PM can visit the markets afterwards due to extended time window. Moreover, rainy season is about to begin in few weeks too when the business automatically goes down. Not everyone has resources to survive that long without any financial support. Besides, most of the current Covid-19 positive cases are due to arrival of migrants and they are being monitored by district administration.
are more aware now than before about novel coronovirus and shopkeepers in the market area are following the safety measures against it like social distancing, regular use of sanitiser and wearing of masks,” added Masson.
Monday, 01 June 2020 | PNS | Dehradun
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