The Union Home Ministry’s decision to allow opening of shops in residential areas within municipal limits and rural areas failed to find much response in various parts of Haryana. The state government was yet to communicate clear instructions to all the districts, in the absence of which the district administration and shopkeepers were left in a state of confusion Saturday morning.
However, later in the day, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that shops will begin to open in Haryana from Sunday onwards. Online permissions will be given to open shops in industrial and commercial institutions and rural areas, he added.
“We are waiting for the state government’s instructions. As of now, the previous status exists,” Fatehabad’s Deputy Commissioner Ravi Prakash Gupta told The Indian Express on Saturday.
After the CM’s statement, the government authorised deputy commissioners to take a call on opening of shops (based on MHA’s guidelines) in their respective districts.
At Fatehabad district, most shops including those of clothes, electronic items, barbers and photographers were found shut in the town of Bhuna and villages including Jandali Kalan, Mochiwali and Gorakhpur. At Mochiwali village, an agricultural equipment repair shop was found open.
In urban areas, the MHA has allowed opening of all standalone shops, neighbourhood shops and shops in residential complexes. However, except for already permitted confectionary, chemist and bookshops, no other trade shops were found open in Bhuna town’s market places in residential areas.
The MHA’s fresh instructions allowing shops to open went viral on social media. Shopkeepers in Hisar city thronged marketplaces to open their shops Saturday morning. However, police stopped them from opening their shops since there were no instructions from the state government.
Hisar Deputy Commissioner Priyanka Soni said, “No fresh instructions have been issued from our side as of now because there are no revised orders sent by the state government. Otherwise also, the MHA instructions do not allow opening of shops in the main market complexes of urban areas. The shops located in residential areas in cities are the ones that can be opened. We are waiting for the government’s fresh instructions.”I
In cities of Rohtak and Jhajjar also, the neighbourhood shops remained closed.
In Fatehabad city, even the standalone shops that are already permitted to function remained shut. The district administration has allowed opening of confectionary and a few other shops from 10 am to 5 pm. Earlier these shops were allowed to open in two shifts — 8 am to 11 am and 3 pm to 6 pm — daily. “The revised timings are of no use to us. Villagers come to the vegetable-market early morning to buy vegetables and leave Bhuna town by 9 am. Earlier, when we used to open our shops at 8 am, they used to make purchase from our shops too, but that is not happening now,” said Amit Goyal, a shopkeeper in the market of Bhuna town.
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