Pune lockdown: Not again please, traders strongly oppose complete shutdown
Lockdown is not a solution in Pune. Many traders in the city oppose complete shutdown amid rise in COVID-19 cases
Pune: After the state government’s new guidelines about shops and markets being shut between 8 pm and 7 am, traders fear that Pune is inching towards a new lockdown. Traders believe that lockdown if imposed in Pune will again hit the business.
The Federation of Trade Association of Pune (FTAP), has also sent a letter to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) challenging the reinstatement of business hours for shops and other establishments as these have already hurt financially amid the COVID-19 outbreak last year. Various traders in the city are undergoing a difficult situation after rumours of new lockdown in the city are making a buzz. As talk of lockdown gains ground, traders have opposed a move of lockdown to battle the COVID-19.
Traders state that while growers of non-perishable commodities like chana, tur and wheat might not face problems with disposal of their produce, a new lockdown would result in big losses to them. Last year, the lockdown in March had hit farmers hard, with many vegetable and fruit growers forced to throw away market-ready products.
TRADERS EXPERIENCE HEAVY LOSSES
· Workers and other staff who went back home last year still haven’t returned.
· Small businesses have shut their operations.
· Only 50 per cent of businesses are back to normalcy.
· Traders see an arduous task to pay salaries of the staff.
Popatlal Ostwal, President of the Poona Merchant Chamber, said, “No lockdown at all. Many traders have closed their businesses. If lockdown imposed again, it will be hard to survive. The government should try to impose some restrictions to control the crowding, but lockdown is not the solution.
Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases across Maharashtra, the state government recently has tightened all restrictions in the state till 15 April. In the new set of rules, all shops, restaurants, bars are urged to operate till 8 pm. However, parcel and takeaway services will remain operational till 11 pm. Also, the night curfew is being placed after 11 pm in many cities such as Pune, Mumbai.
Meanwhile, Pune city on Tuesday witnessed 3,226 new COVID-19 cases. With this, the total caseload of the COVID-19 has gone to 2,64,885 in Pune city.