Ghaziabad: UP govt lifts night curfew, traders heave a sigh of relief
The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday lifted the night curfew, which was imposed in the midst of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in December, when cases were on an uptick
The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday lifted the night curfew, which was imposed in the midst of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in December, when cases were on an uptick. Officials said that the lifting of curfew will come into effect from Saturday night itself.
The night curfew from 11pm to 5am was imposed by the UP government on December 24. In between, the timings of the night curfew were also shuffled. On January 9, the timings were increased by two hours from 10pm to 6am as Covid-19 cases continued to rise. However, on February 13, the state government tweaked the curfew hours and instructed officials to follow the 11pm -5am cycle.
The night curfew will be terminated from February 19, said an order issued by Awanish Awasthi, additional chief secretary (home).
“The state government has removed the night curfew in the wake of decline in Covid-19 cases. It will be applicable from Saturday night. Shops, markets and commercial establishments can now open and close in accordance with specified timings,” said Suhas LY, district magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar.
The traders’ community in Noida and Ghaziabad welcomed the move.
“We were expecting the removal of night curfew by the end of January but are happy that a decision has been taken now. It will improve market sentiments and business activity will flourish. Hotels, restaurants, bars and food joints will be able to streamline their businesses without any glitches. It will also give a sense of positivity among the people as Covid-19 cases are on a decline,” said Pradeep Gupta, convener of the Vyapari Ekta Samiti, a traders’ association in Indirapuram.
SK Jain, president of Noida Sector 18 market association, also said that the lifting of the night curfew is a much-needed move for business.
“There are around 500 shops in the Sector 18 market. Normally, the retail shops shut between 9pm and 10 pm. The order will help restaurants and hotels to draw more business. The most important thing is that people will get a sense of confidence now, and they can shop and dine freely,” Jain said.
He said that during the lockdown period, shops have suffered huge financial losses. “We sincerely hope business will revive again and people will start visiting our shops in good numbers,” Jain added.
Syed Shamim Anwar, associate director (marketing) of the Entertainment City, which runs the Great India Place Mall and Gardens Galleria, also said that the lifting of the night curfew will immensely help restaurants and food courts. “People normally visit restaurants during the 9 pm-10 pm-window but now eateries will remain open till midnight. All commercial establishments have been advised to observe safety norms,” he said.
Meanwhile, , the state of UP has 7,552 active cases that include 453 in Gautam Budh Nagar and 250 in Ghaziabad district, according to the latest state control room report of February 19.