The shopkeepers in city defied the state government’s directives on Covid-19 and opened their shops on Saturday. The Beopar Mandal had already announced that the shopkeepers will be opening their shops on weekends, even as a curfew will be placed across the state.
Shops in almost all phases of city remained open, including in areas like Phase 3-B2, Phase V, Phase VII, Phase IV, Phase IX and Phase II. The shopkeepers said that they had to open their shops as they were suffering financial losses due to the weekend curfews.
President of Mohali Beopar Mandal, Vineet Verma, said that the shopkeepers did not want any confrontation with the district administration and added that shopkeepers had to open their businesses as they did not have any other option to save them. “In the last four or five months, many shops were shut due to poor response of customers. The adjoining cities like Chandigarh and Panchkula decided not to impose any lock down on weekends, then why it could not happen in Mohali? It is part of the Tricity,” said Verma.
Verma further added that the shopkeepers were ready to follow all guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but shutting down shops was not the solution. He said that shopkeepers across the city had responded to Beopar Mandal’s call.
Secretary of Beopar Mandal, Sarbjeet Singh Paras, said that due to opening of shops in Chandigarh, people in the city chose to go shopping there, which made the local business suffer. He added that there must be uniformity in the guidelines to ensure financial safety of shopkeepers.
Senior Vice-President of Phase 3-B2 market, Akwinder Singh Gosal, said that the shopkeepers could not pay their basic expanses including salaries of their employees, power and water bills if shops were closed for longer.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Girish Dayalan was not available for comments.
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