The Chandigarh Market Association, under the banner of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, staged a protest against the UT administration for enforcing lockdown on weekends without assessing the loss of revenue to traders, shopkeepers and small-time businessmen, in Sector 23, Saturday.
Members of the Sector 23 Market Association also participated in the protest and raised anti-UT administration slogans.
The protestors demanded the immediate withdrawal of lockdown orders, while arguing that if hotels, restaurants etc could remain opened then why not shops.
Traders accused the UT administration for surrendering before the dictum of neighbouring states Punjab and Haryana, which had once denounced the UT Administrator’s suggestion of weekend lockdowns in the Tricity involving Mohali and Panchkula.
They demanded a roll-back of the decision.
“Chandigarh businessmen, shopkeepers, traders are running into huge losses. Indeed, Covid-19 cases are a matter of great concern, but two days of lockdown on weekends will not serve any purpose. Instead of imposing the lockdown, the administration should urge local people to not coming out from their houses unnecessarily. The administration will have to develop a mechanism for such a thing. We have decided to raise the demand of roll back of lockdown before the Adviser, Administrator of Home Secretary next week,” said Charanjiv Singh, chairman of mandal.
“I do not read the newspaper and don’t have any smart phone. I was informed today morning about the lockdown by a fellow shopkeeper. There was no any clue about the lockdown till late evening when I shut down my shop. It is a dictatorship,” said Sudershan Rahi, a trader in Sector 23.
“The decision was taken by the UT Administrator keeping in the view increasing Covid-19 cases along with the situation in Punjab and Haryana. We have conveyed this decision to the central government. Indeed, decisions are subject to review also. We have to restrain and stop the spread of coronavirus in Chandigarh. So far, there are 2,776 active cases in the city. As per our emergency plan, we have to stop it from reaching 12,000 cases, which is one per cent of the total population of Chandigarh. We are making our best efforts,” said Adivser to UT administrator, Manoj Parida.
Meanwhile, the partial lockdown was observed peacefully throughout Chandigarh, and only shops, showrooms engaged in supply of essential commodities were opened. Police vehicles took regular rounds in all markets to ensure compliance with lockdown orders.
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