A day after the Haryana government directed closure of all offices, shopping malls and shops in the market area, except those dealing in essential goods and services, during weekends, members of various market and mall associations, as well as owners of shops and salons, in Gurgaon said the decision would undo the progress they have made in the last three months. They also warned that this will further increase unemployment.
“On weekends, we get three times the number of customers that we get on a weekday… nobody has the time to go out on weekdays, people were only coming on Saturday and Sunday,” said Aman Bajaj, member of the MGF Metropolitan Mall Association.
“Even if they wanted to shut for two days, they could have closed on Monday and Tuesday, or Sunday and Monday, so that it at least leaves us one day of the weekend,” he said.
Babloo Gupta, president of the Sadar Bazaar Market Association, said, “After the lockdown, there is almost no business anyway and all shopkeepers and traders are operating in loss… The little bit that things have improved, it will slip again now. This will only increase unemployment. This weekend lockdown is going to destroy us.”
The order directing the closure of offices, shops, and malls was issued late Friday evening, causing confusion in the first few hours of its enforcement.
“At some markets and malls we were informed that we had to remain closed while at others they only told us this morning. We did not know this was for all of Gurgaon… We had appointments scheduled in advance. In some salons we had to request that we be allowed to complete the work being done on customers already inside and then close down. Someone’s hair, for example, was being coloured, this cannot just be left halfway,” said the director of a salon chain, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“In the last one week, we have again seen a surge in coronavirus infected persons… Keeping this in mind, I appeal to residents of the district to follow the Covid-19 protocol seriously,” said Deputy Commissioner Amit Khatri.
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