Pune lockdown: Forced to shut shops, traders protest against strict measures
All non-essential shops have been asked to remain shut till April 30 in Pune amid rise in spread of COVID cases
Pune: Over number of traders in Pune are upset with the state's decision to close down all shops and private non-essential business establishments here till April 30, stating it will sound a death knell for the whole business. The PMC (Pune Municipal Corporation) has asked that all shops, barring essential services, would remain shut till April 30.
Traders and shopkeepers across several parts of Pune took to the streets to protest against the lockdown that has forced them to shut shop from Monday. Pune's Laxmi Road saw traders gather on the street to air their grievances against the strict measures imposed by the administration forcing them to shut shop.
An apex body of traders in Pune on Tuesday opposed the Maharashtra government's directive to shut shops selling non-essential commodities and services till April 30, amid rise in COVID-19 cases.
The Federation of Trade Association Pune (FTAP) also stated that it will write to the Prime Minister, Chief Minister and others to register its protest against the decision.
"There is discontent among traders over the decision of shutting all shops except those selling essential commodities in the city. Its an unfair decision," said Fatechand Ranka, the President of FTAP. The decision will severely affect small traders, he said.
Traders during the protest asked that if you keep shops shut for 25 days, how to pay EMIs of loans, who will pay the salary of the staff? The traders on Tuesday also met MP Girish Bapat and urged him to ease some restrictions.
Walchand Sancheti, President, The Federation of Association of Traders, Maharashtra said,
"Traders have suffered a lot during the last lockdown. It is difficult to survive the same this time. The government should reverse the decision."
Nitin Pandit, Secretary, Tulshibaug market shop owners association, said, "The decision taken by Pune administration and state government to shut all non-essential shops till April 30 is unfair. Shopkeepers oppose this decision. The government must allow shopkeepers of all age to get vaccinated."
Some from the aggrieved traders' body believe these strict restrictions were just a farce. Actually the government has enforced a lockdown causing maximum damage to traders across the state. Meanwhile, the traders' union in Maharashtra is holding a meeting with other unions around the cities to decide on their future course of action.