Noida, Ghaziabad traders welcome plan for markets
The weekend restrictions will remain in place till further orders from the state government, the officials said.Updated: Jul 13, 2020 07:10 IST
The Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday announced a fresh set of guidelines to curb the rising Covid-19 cases in the state. As per the latest order, all markets in the state will be allowed to open from Monday to Friday and they will remain shut for two days on weekends for cleanliness and sanitization drive in order to break the chain of infection.
However, traders in Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar on Sunday expressed their apprehensions over the implementation of the new order in the two NCR districts of UP. Markets in both the districts are presently operating on alternate days.
Awanish Awasthi, UP’s additional chief secretary (home), said that economic activity will not be hampered during the weekend restrictions, but markets will remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays while they will open from 9am to 9pm on weekdays.
Pradeep Gupta, convener of Vyapari Ekta Samiti, Indirapuram, said, “Although the government has given directions for opening markets on five days, we still have apprehension that local authorities may continue with the alternate day opening of markets. In case this continues, a set of markets which were scheduled to open on Saturdays will face major issues. Already, the traders are incurring losses due to restricted three-day opening.”
“If the district authorities fully implement the government directions, it will bring relief to traders and shop owners. Five-day opening and 9am to 9pm timing will help traders run their businesses properly. So, we are waiting for directions from local authorities,” Gupta said.
Traders in GB Nagar feel that five-day opening of shops will surely help their businesses, but they too are confused with no clear guidelines issued by the district administration.
“In the current system, we are open for three days a week. But five-day a week will definitely be an improvement. The timings of opening markets will be a critical factor in helping standalone businesses,” said Sushil Kumar Jain, president, Sector 18 market association in Noida.
“The footfall has already been very less. Now, the weekend buyers will have to balance out their own work timings during a weekday. However, there is no clarity on the implementation of the new order in Noida,” he added.
Suhas LY, GB Nagar district magistrate, said that he will wait for the orders from the state government and then take a call accordingly.
Ajay Shankar Pandey, Ghaziabad district magistrate, said, “The Ghaziabad administration is waiting for the government order about opening of markets. Once we receive it, we will be implementing the directions.”
Apart from alternate opening days, the markets in Ghaziabad remained shut on Sundays while traders had to deal with different opening and closing timings announced from time to time.
On May 22, the Ghaziabad administration issued orders for opening of 34 major markets in different areas from 10am to 5pm. There were subsequent orders that all shops will be allowed to open from 9am to 9pm from June 8.
On July 2, the administration further revised timings for shops (from 9am to 7.30pm) after the UP chief secretary on June 30 directed for imposition of night curfew from 8pm to 6am in six districts of Meerut division, which includes Ghaziabad and GB Nagar districts. However, the extended night curfew restriction (8pm to 6am) in Meerut division were applicable till July 10.
The state government had directed for two-day weekend restrictions for the first time on Thursday.
“The response of the two-day restrictions has been good. Now, the chief minister has directed that markets will open 9am to 9pm from Monday to Friday. The economic activity will continue with functioning of industrial units. Banks will open on Saturdays. However, there will be restriction on social activities,” Awasthi said.
“There will be a weekend drive for taking up sanitization and cleanliness. Solid waste lifting and disposal will be ensured. This drive will also include anti-larvae treatment and fogging activities. The industries will also set up Covid help desks and follow protocols,” the additional chief secretary said.
The weekend restrictions will remain in place till further orders from the state government, the officials said.
The two NCR districts of UP have been witnessing a sudden spurt in number of Covid-19 cases since June. According to the state control room statistics, GB Nagar and Ghaziabad are the only two districts in UP where total Covid-19 count has surged past 3,000 cases. On July 11, the total number of positive cases in GB Nagar and Ghaziabad stood at 3,347 and 3,016, respectively.