Srinagar: Traders of Sopore Tuesday held a protest demanding they should be allowed to reopen shops as they were unable to feed their families.
Authorities in various parts of Kashmir have allowed shopkeepers to reopen their shops but have been directed to follow the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and guidelines laid by the Ministry of Home Affairs besides District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).
However, shops in Sopore continue to remain closed. “There has hardly been any COVID positive case in the last three weeks. Despite that we are not allowed to reopen our shops,” a shopkeeper told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service.
The shopkeeper said the administration was discriminating against the shopkeepers of Sopore.
“If shopkeepers of other areas are allowed to operate why similar rules can’t for shopkeepers of Sopore,” he asked.
The shopkeepers who protested Tuesday were raising slogans against the administration.
“This lockdown has put a shopkeeper like me in deep trouble. It is very difficult for us to feed our families,” another shopkeeper said.
These days he is sitting idle at home. “I debited Rs 1000 from one of relatives that have been exhausted,” he said.
“Nobody is concerned about us. We can’t tell you how we feed our families,” he added.
Authorities have allowed shops to reopen in Srinagar. Shopping malls have been directed to prominently display roster for 50% shops to be opened on alternative days.
The government has stressed that equidistant circles in paint indicating mandatory distance shall be marked outside every shop and establishment. “Every shop or establishment shall be properly sanitized before being made operational. Hand sanitizers and soap etc shall also be compulsorily made available at every establishment,” a government order reads.
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, garments, cosmetics, footwear, electronics, jewellers, tailors will remain open from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
“Similarly, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 11 am to 5:30 pm, handicrafts, handloom, hardware, building material, furniture, furnishing, automobiles, services stations and barbers will remain open,” the order said.
For the public transport, the order underlined that the three wheelers with two passengers have been allowed. (KINS)