Shopkeepers in Kalyan protest after weekend closure orders as Covid cases rise
Several shopkeepers and traders staged a protest outside the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation office on Saturday morning, a day after the corporation announced that shops within its jurisdiction would remain shut during the weekends mid rising Covid-19 cases.
The twin cities of Kalyan and Dombivli have been recording more than 800 daily positive cases of Covid-19 for the last few days. This has prompted the civic body to announce closure of shops on weekends except for those selling essential goods. Hotels and restaurants also have to stick to parcel services during the weekends. In the last two weekends, shops were allowed to remain open on an odd even basis.
The latest closure order has infuriated the shopkeepers and traders. “We understand the growing number of cases is a concern for the civic authorities. However we have already faced losses during the lockdown. Weekends are the time when we get to earn. If we remain shut we will face a difficult situation in paying salaries for staff, rent, bills and taxes,” said Ratan Singh, member of shopkeepers association in Dombivli.
Meanwhile, the KDMC is planning stricter action if Covid-19 cases do not reduce. “We had given restricted timings for shops but many did not follow forcing us to fine them. These are reasons the numbers are increasing and we have to announce stricter curbs,” said Vijay Suryavanshi, KDMC commissioner.