The South Gujarat Hotel and Restaurants Association (SHARA), an arm of the Hotel and Restaurant Association, (HRA) Gujarat, has requested the state government to allow restaurants to remain open till 11 pm during Unlock-2.
In a memorandum submitted to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Narendra Somani, president of HRA, Gujarat, said the industry was badly affected during 70 days of Covid-19 lockdown. Under Unlock 1, hotels and restaurants were allowed to function from 5 am to 7 pm when only 30 to 40 per cent of them were open. As per the Covid guidelines, restaurants can allow customers at only 50 per cent of its seating capacity. People prefer dining out after 8 pm, the memorandum said.
The memorandum urged to extend the work timing of hotels and restaurants from the existing 7 pm to 11 pm in the Unlock-2 phase starting from July 1. It also sought to waive property tax for hotels and restaurants for the current year and the 10 per cent user charges on power bills.
SHARA president Arun Shetty said, “We request the state government to agree to both the requests. There are 350 restaurants in Surat, out of which only 30 per cent are open now. With less footfall, over 50% of hotels and restaurants that are open are facing further closure. It can be avoided if the time limit is extended.”
SHARA also appealed to citizens to take videos of food sold on the street in unhygienic conditions, and share it with the association so that action could be taken against such cart owners. “We have received complaints about food carts providing unhygienic food… they don’t pay taxes, draw power illegally and run their business outside shopping complexes and residential areas. We request citizens to make videos of such unauthorised food vendors, mention date, place and area and share it to us on our mobile number 9377177133. We will raise the issue with the authorities so that action would be taken against them,” said Shetty.
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