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UP govt relaxes night curfew timings by 2 hours

Noida The Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday relaxed the night curfew in the state by two more hours, which will now be applicable from 10pm to 6am
PUBLISHED ON JUL 12, 2021 11:29 PM IST

Noida The Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday relaxed the night curfew in the state by two more hours, which will now be applicable from 10pm to 6am.

Last month, the timings had been relaxed from 7pm-7am to 9pm-7am. The government had allowed resumption of markets outside of containment zones, and also restaurants and malls to open with 50% capacity. The weekend curfew, however, continues to be in force.

According to data available on Sunday (July 10), Gautam Budh Nagar reported three fresh Covid-19 cases. No deaths or discharges were reported in the 24-hour duration. The active caseload in the district was recorded at 43, total death toll at 466, and total discharges at 62,606.

‘Market to suffer till weekend curfew in place’

Sushil Kumar Jain, president of Sector 18 Market Association and convener of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) - Delhi-NCR, says traders are happy that the curfew timings were relaxed. “Earlier, traders had to shut shop by 8.30pm as the curfew timings started from 9pm. However, with the new relaxations, now shopkeepers will be able to generate more sales.”

Jain, however, added that the market will continue to suffer till the weekend curfew is in place. “Earlier, Noida traders were hopeful that the government would permit them to run businesses on Saturdays and Sundays, however, it did not happen. According to CAIT findings, traders, including retailers and wholesalers, in Gautam Budh Nagar suffered an estimated loss of 10,000 crore between March and June 2021. Markets collect the majority of revenue during the weekends, and they will continue to suffer losses as long as the weekend curbs are in place,” he said, adding that customers from Noida also travel to Delhi on weekends. “This not only harms the business, but the revenue also goes to Delhi instead of Uttar Pradesh.”

‘Barely get customers on weekdays’

Restaurateurs, too, welcomed the move, but were disappointed about the weekend curfew.

Varun Khera, president of National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI), Noida chapter, said, “The relaxation of night curfew is somewhat good for restaurateurs as we will be able to hold on to our dinner revenue. However, the weekend curfew is a major hurdle for us as we barely get customers on weekdays. Moreover, we have to pay bills and salaries every month, but are only generating revenue for a maximum of 20 days.” The NRAI had sent a letter to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on July 6, requesting him to allow reopening of their establishments on weekends, too.

‘Losing revenue to Delhi and Gurugram’

District pub owners say they are losing revenue to Delhi and Gurugram, as there are no restrictions on restaurants and bars during weekends.

Varun Puri, owner of Duty Free Courtyard in Noida and Duty Free - The Vayu Bar in Gurugram, said, “Earlier, corporate professionals used to go to pubs during weekdays, too. However, with office shut and work-from-home in place, people usually step out on weekends... Since there are no curbs on cross-border movement, Noida and Ghaziabad residents go to Delhi and Gurugram on weekends... Even I get maximum business from Gurugram on weekends.”

Govt treading cautiously: Medical experts

Medical experts, however, say that weekend relaxations may lead to overcrowding at restaurants and pubs, increasing the risk of getting Covid-19. “I believe the government is treading cautiously and opening up the city gradually. Weekend curbs may lead to an overcrowding situation in markets, pubs and restaurants, which may eventually invite the purported third wave of Covid-19 sooner than we are expecting,” said Dr NK Sharma, president of Indian Medical Association (IMA), Noida chapter.

Suhas LY, district magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar, sais, “The state government can only take decisions on relaxations during the weekend.”

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