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Pune: Shopkeepers to hold agitation today seeking easing of Covid curbs

The federation will also hold an agitation, 'Ghanta Naad Aaandolan' (ringing the bell) on August 3 between 12 noon and 12.15 pm to draw the government's attention to its demands.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: August 3, 2021 9:27:16 am
A signature campaign by the Tulshibaug Traders' Association underway on Monday. The campaign has been launched to demand extension of shop timings till 8 pm from the current closure time of 4 pm. (Express Photo by Pavan Khengre)

The Federation of Trade Associations of Pune which has 25,000 shopowners as its members, has said in a letter to government authorities that if work timings of non-essential shops are not changed, then all shops will remain open till 7 pm from August 4.

The federation will also hold an agitation, ‘Ghanta Naad Aaandolan’ (ringing the bell) on August 3 between 12 noon and 12.15 pm to draw the government’s attention to its demands. Shop owners will ring bells at various places across the city during the agitation.

“Since Covid-19 cases in Pune are under control, the timings of shops can be changed now. Cases in rural parts of the the district should not be a reason for curbs in the city now,” said F N Ranka, president, Suryakant Pathak, vice-president and Mahendra Pitalia, secretary, in the letter.

The letter has been sent to the Chief Minister, Guardian Minister of Pune District, Divisional Commissioner, District Collector, Municipal Commissioner of PMC and the Commissioner of Police. It states, “Either all shops (excluding essential shops) should be allowed to function from 11 am to 8 pm for the current system of five days or should be allowed to function on all days between 11 am and 7 pm.”

“Current timings are not suitable for shopping so not only the shop owners but customers are also facing problems. So, above changes in timings are required to be allowed. In case the required changes in timings of keeping shops open are not considered by the concerned authorities, then from August 4, all shopowners will keep their shops open till 7 pm and will be ready to face the consequences,” Ranka said.

“All these decisions were taken unanimously in the meeting of officebearers of the federation held on July 31,” the letter stated.

Shops and many business establishments have remained closed for at least the past 16-18 months, especially during festive seasons due to which they have incurred losses to the tune of Rs 75,000 crore, the letter stated.

“Shop owners, traders and their employees are suffering due to financial losses, so now they should be allowed to function in the timings suggested,” the federation said.

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