16 trade bodies in Darjeeling call for a week’s shutdown to fight Covid-19
The trade bodies said the decision toi shut down Darjeking for a week was taken after they concluded that social distancing to stave off Covid-19 has not been followed practically.Updated: Jun 13, 2020, 18:38 IST
Sixteen trade and transport organizations in Darjeeling have called for a shutdown of all markets and transportation for a week beginning June 15 in a desperate bid to stave off Covid-19.
The newly-formed Save Darjeeling Covid 19 Protection Committee announced the decision on Friday evening.
The Committee consists of 16 organisations including Chamber of Commerce Darjeeling, Himalayan Transport Coordination Committee and Path Pasaley Sangh.
S N Pradhan, president of HimalayanTransport Coordination Committee who is also one of the three conveners of the newly formed committee said “We have not called a bandh but have appealed all in Darjeeling town falling under Darjeeling Municipality to remain inside homes and not to open business establishments and ply vehicles for seven days till June 21.”
The decision according to Pradhan was taken after reaching a conclusion that social distancing has not been followed practically. “The only way to save oneself and others is to remain in self isolation and thus we have decided to keep close all business establishments and transport after two-day-long deliberations,” he said.
As on June 12, Darjeeling district has recorded 184 Covid-19 cases, three of whom have died.
Mira Baraily, secretary, Path Pasaley Sangh, Darjeeling said, “The call to remain inside homes is not against anyone and it is also not against the National Disaster Act. Everyone has a right to stay safe and the 16 organisations’ move to close the shutters for a week is only aimed at fighting the coronavirus. Transport, both public and private would also be closed for the period.”
Bimal Mintri, vice president, Chamber of Commerce Darjeeling said “We have taken a unanimous decision to keep everything other than essential commodities closed for a week on a trial basis.”
The Darjeeling hills had witnessed 104-day-long bandh during 2017 agitation for the creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland.
S Poonambalam, district magistrate of Darjeeling said “We will sit with the organisations on Saturday evening and listen to their grievances.”
As the Covid 19 cases are on the rise particularly in Siliguri plains of Darjeeling district, the district administration has already closed the fish market at Siliguri Regulated Market for a week from Friday. The vegetable and fruit markets will also be closed for a week from Monday.
The decision was taken after reports that few people related with the fish, vegetable and fruits mandis in the regulated market have been tested positive for Covid-19.