Festive stalls for traders will be allowed from October 23 onwards but with proper COVID protocol. Officials said that the onus of the norms to be followed will be on the stall owner.
There has to be distancing among people visiting the stall and wearing masks has to be mandatory for all, else the stall owner will be issued a challan.
To avoid crowding at the Municipal Corporation building, this time the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation will be issuing slips to traders and vendors at different community centres.
For traders who wish to take 20 days’ stall permission, the same will be allowed from October 23. Three-day permission for Dussehra day, three-day permission for Karva Chauth, and seven-day and three-day permission for Diwali will also be given. Slips will be issued accordingly.
Slips for three days and seven days will be issued in community centres of sectors 16, 19, 46, Manimajra and Shivalik Garden. For those who want 20-day permission, slips will be issued in Municipal Corporation building itself.
To control the crowd during Karva Chauth, especially during the pandemic, would be difficult for the authorities. Vendors who apply henna on women’s hands sit at markets; women huddle around them. Then there are food stalls which invite crowds.
Charanjiv Singh, chairman of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, said that the Municipal Corporation has intimated them that they will be issuing a standard operating procedure in this regard. “Whatever SOP they issue we will follow. We also know that these are COVID times and we can’t think of any laxity,” he said.
However, the issue of onus of distancing and mask wearing on shopkeepers or stall owners hasn’t gone down well with some of them.
A shopkeeper based in Sector 23 on condition of anonymity said, “Almost the entire year our business has suffered. Now the shopkeeper will focus on customers or ensure distancing or mask wearing? This is the job of the police. If the customer doesn’t wear a mask, the violator should be challaned and not the shopkeeper.”
M P S Chawla, a hotelier and a resident of Sector15, said that the Chandigarh Administration should ask market associations to appoint volunteers to ensure social distancing.
“People have been going really lax when it comes to wearing of mask. Many of them pull down masks to their chin where it is of no use. At least volunteers can be appointed that will assist the police in ensuring that masks are properly worn by people,” Chawla said.
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