On day Two of yet another indefinite strike against Local Body Tax (LBT),Pune District Collector Vikas Deshmukh went around the city on Thursday inspecting markets and asking traders to ensure that the supply of essential commodities is not disrupted. He has also started issuing notices to traders.
Deshmukh said criminal proceedings will be started against those found forcing shopkeepers to shut shops against their will. We have already served more than 500 notices on traders, he said.
On Thursday,said the collector,he inspected wholesale markets to gauge the situation and conducted meetings with traders organisations.
Following the state governments decision to levy LBT in both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad,traders embarked on another indefinite strike on Wednesday.
Wholesale grain shops at the market yard have decided to join the strike on Friday. Ajit Setiya,president of the Poona Merchants Chambers,stated they would join the indefinite strike called by the Federation of Trade Association of Pune (FTAP) from Friday.
Deshmukh told Newsline that he inspected the markets to gauge the situation. Shops on Laxmi Road and other commercial hubs were closed but shops selling vegetables and other essential commodities were open, he said.
In his meeting with Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) members,Deshmukh stressed that supply of essential commodities should not be hampered during the strike.
On Thursday,many shops in Pimpri-Chinchwad were open,while shops in commercial hubs like Laxmi Road remained closed. Shops in Hadapsar,Wanworie and Kondhwa were closed. Many shops in Baner,Pashan Bavdhan and Aundh were open in the morning hours,and citizens thronged them to stock up on groceries. Supply of milk in parts of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad was hit with shops distributing milk shut for the past two days. As on the first day of the strike,people were seen shopping for foodgrains at malls on Friday too.
Fatechand Ranka of the FTAP claimed that Day Two of the strike was a great success,with many traders joining in. Though milk and vegetable traders have been exempted from the strike,many of them joined the strike as they understood the disastrous effect LBT would have on their business, he said.