Rotational opening of shops not serving purpose of containing Covid

Rotational opening of shops not serving purpose of containing Covid

Srinagar: The Kashmir administration immediately needs to revisit its policy of opening city markets on rotational basis as it is not serving the purpose of preventing Covid spread, Srinagar traders say on the basis of what they have observed.
It has been two weeks since markets in Srinagar were allowed to open, after remaining shut for three months under the Covid lockdown. However, businesses classified as ‘non-essential’, including shops dealing in clothes and garments, cosmetics, footwear, electronics and electric material, jewellery, tailors, designers and boutiques can open only three days a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“This is not working,” said Gulzar Ahmad, a textile wholesaler in Sarai Bala area of Amira Kadal in Srinagar. He said that the market where his shop is located is the hub of textiles, where most of the shops deal in fabrics only.
“So, if the market is open, all the shops have to be open, which defeates the purpose of rotational opening of markets,” he said.
Similar is the situation in Maharaj Ganj market. It is the hub of many trades which include textiles, grocery, food items, copper utensils, etc. Most of these are ‘non-essential’ goods and thus all the shops open on the same days, thrice a week.
Manzoor Ahmad, a wholesale dealer in grocery, told Kashmir Reader that the government should classify the opening of shops based on their number in the market, and not on the basis of classification of essential and non-essential.
“It would mean that only certain shops will open on a given day, rather than all at once. This will also ensure availability of all items round the week,” he said.
Such a change in strategy seems necessary as Covid cases and deaths are rising every day, both in Srinagar and in other districts of the valley.

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