Weekend Covid curbs in Haryana leave traders in a fix
Already staring at losses, shopkeepers divided over stricter restrictions over the weekends amid rising cases of coronavirus in the stateUpdated: Aug 22, 2020, 15:17 IST
Karnal/Rohtak: Markets wore a deserted look across Haryana on Saturday after the state government decided to impose stricter restrictions and ordered the closure of all shops and establishments except those providing essential services during the weekend in a bid to check rising Covid-19 cases.
Shopkeepers adhered to the government’s orders in towns, including Karnal, Kurukshetra, Rohtak, Bhiwani and Hisar, even as police teams kept a watch to act against violators.
Medical stores and chemist shops, bakeries and restaurants and liquor shops were open. Restaurant and sweet shops were not allowed to serve food in the premises. Only takeaway orders and home delivery of food items was permitted.
Urging residents not to venture out except in case of an emergency, Karnal deputy commissioner Nishant Kumar Yadav said that orders were being implemented strictly and action will be taken against violators.
“There’s hardly any customer. The restrictions are impacting our earnings but there’s no choice. Such steps are needed to control the spread of the virus,” said Surender Kumar, the owner of a sweet shop at Indri in Karnal.
“We welcome the government’s decision as Covid cases are on the rise. People don’t follow social distancing strictly,” said Mukesh Kumar, who runs a cyber café in Kurukshetra.
‘TRADERS SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSULTED’
Hemant Bakshi, the president of the traders association in Rohtak, said: “The government didn’t consult stakeholders. We had faced huge losses due to the lockdown and were trying to revive business. The government has once again forced us to close down. The government should revoke its decision and impose lockdown only on Sunday.”
Rakesh Kumar, a shoe shop owner in Bhiwani, said though traders were adhering to safety guidelines, the weekend curbs were imposed. “Covid-19 cases have not been rising in our district yet business has been disrupted. Do cases rise only on weekends? Why did the government not shut down liquor shops? Because it generates revenue for it but they did not think once about our livelihood,” he said.
Rohtak additional deputy commissioner Mahender Pal appealed for public cooperation to implement the weekend restrictions and control the spread of Covid-19.