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Thursday, August 05, 2021

‘Question of survival’: Dadar traders organise protest, seek reopening of shops on weekends

The traders said that despite daily Covid-19 cases dipping in Mumbai, the state government has still not allowed business activities to resume on weekends.

Written by Laxman Singh | Mumbai |
Updated: July 12, 2021 12:55:37 pm
Traders protest DadarTraders protest outside their shops in Dadar on Monday. (Express Photo)

Asking the Maharashtra government to allow shops to reopen on weekends, traders at Dadar organised a protest on Monday against the current lockdown norms that allow non-essential stores to open only from Monday to Friday between 7 am and 4 pm.

The traders said that despite daily Covid-19 cases dipping in Mumbai, the state government has still not allowed business activities to resume on weekends.

Shopkeepers warned that if the curbs are not lifted, the political parties will have to face the consequences in the upcoming BMC elections. “Mumbai has been seeing a constant decline in daily Covid-19 cases. The government is talking about social distancing and Covid-appropriate behaviour but can’t they see what is happening in public transports? We all are facing huge revenue losses and the government should think about that and allow our shops to remain open on weekends,” Deepak Deorukhkar, a member of Dadar Vyapari Sangh, said.

Traders were seen standing outside their shops holding placards with messages written on them.

Sunil Shah, another trader from Dadar, said people usually do not come out to shop on weekdays as everyone is working from home nowadays. “Weekends are the only time when people got out shopping and as such, the government should allow us to open our shops,” Shah added.

Besides this, the traders also pointed out that in many parts of the city, owners keep their shops open even on weekends, thereby defying the government’s orders.

“It is a question of survival now. We have to pay salaries to our staffers. The government should think about us,” Deorukhkar said.

Meanwhile, another traders’ body has warned of boycotting the elections if the curbs are not relaxed.

“We have sent several e-mails and reminders to the government and the ruling political parties to relax the ongoing restrictions. They have not taken us seriously and now, the Maharashtra traders are restless, annoyed and upset. As such, we have decided to boycott future elections if our demands are not met,” Viren Shah, the president of Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association said.

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