Shops to open 7 days a week, ‘non-essential’ businesses 3 days a week
Srinagar: The Srinagar district administration has finally allowed all types of businesses to operate from Saturday, with the rider that non-essential ones will only work for three days in a week.
This has come after multiple meetings with traders. The preparations were going on for a week now as the administration was fixing modalities for reopening markets in Covid- 19 red zones. There are about 54 such zones in the city in which no trade has been allowed till now according to Government of India (GoI) guidelines.
As per a notification issued by Deputy Magistrate Srinagar Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary on Friday, the re-opening of business establishments in Srinagar will happen on a rotational basis with full adherence to Standard Operating Procedures.
“District Magistrate Srinagar by virtue of powers vested and provisions contained in the Disaster Management ACT 2005 Section 144 CrPC and The Epidemic Disease Act notifies the opening of shops in Srinagar district from Saturday,” the notification states.
Bookshops, stationery, chemists, medical products, grocery, fruits vegetables, milk and milk products, meat, poultry farming products, repair workshops, e-commerce and courier services, hotels, restaurants (home delivery), bakery and other essential outlets can remain open throughout the week.
Non-essential business establishments including clothes shops, readymade garments, cosmetics, footwear, electronics and electric material, jewellery, tailors, designers and boutiques will function three days a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“Handicrafts, handloom, hardware, building material, furniture, furnishing, automobiles, services stations, saloons, beauty parlours shall also remain open three days a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday),” the order states.
The administration has classified District Srinagar as a Red Zone, thereby making it mandatory for shopkeepers to follow the set guidelines and SOPs.
“In view of multifarious dimensions involved, suggestions and recommendations were obtained from SKIMS, GMC Srinagar, SKIMS Medical College Bemina, and Directorate of Health Services, and sector-specific SOPs have been devised taking in account such recommendations ad protocols notified by the competent authority,” the order says.
“Equidistant circles in paint indicating mandatory distance (1 meter) shall be marked outside every shop. No business shall be transacted in absence of guidelines related to wearing of masks and physical distancing,” it reads.
Sanitisation of shops, availability of hand sanitisers and soaps for customers, minimising staff strength by 50 percent and opening of 50 percent shops in shopping malls on alternate days are the SOPs.
The use of Aarogya Setu mobile app has been made mandatory for the shopkeepers in the city.
Muhammad Yaseen Khan, President of Kashmir Trade and Manufactures Federation, welcomed the move saying it will provide relief to the business community of the district in particular. He said the body will reach out to all the shopkeepers for maintaining the SOPs.
Markets in the city were open until March 17. Since then they were shut after the first case of coronavirus was reported in Kashmir.