Majid Kapra

Markets in Srinagar reopen nearly after 3 months

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Photo-Javed Khan/Kashmir Images

Srinagar: Markets in Srinagar reopened on Saturday after remaining closed for nearly three months due to the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus.

As announced by the district administration, shops in Srinagar opened on rotational basis on Saturday, 84 days after the lockdown and subsequent restrictions were imposed in March this year as a precautionary measure to ‘slowdown’ the spread of novel coronavirus.

Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Dr Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary who also heads District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) as its Chairman announced reopening of shops in Srinagar after days of hectic deliberations with the heads of trade bodies and other stakeholders.

However the shopkeepers said the flow of customers was very low on the first day of opening of shops in Srinagar. They said customers due to suspension of public transport and rotational opening of shops could not make it to markets.

Pertinently restrictions were first imposed in Srinagar on March 19 a day after elderly women from Khayyam area of Srinagar tested positive for Covid-19 on her arrival from Mecca. On March 24 nationwide lockdown was announced by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi which was extended from time to time.

As directed by the administration, business activities resumed in Srinagar amid strict adherence to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which include sanitization of shops, maintaining social distancing and wearing face masks.

Shoppers who thronged city centre Lal Chowk for shopping purpose had covered their faces with masks and were seen sanitizing their hands with pocket sanitizers from time to time as a precautionary measure to avoid exposing to deadly virus.

Though Public transport was off the roads, heavy traffic snarls were witnessed as there was considerable movement of private vehicles.

While chemist shops, book shops, departmental stores, etc. have been allowed to remain open throughout the day from Monday to Saturday, shops selling readymade garments, cosmetics, footwear and jewellery will remain open from 11 am to 5.30 pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the officials said.

Similarly on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, beauty parlours, service stations and shops selling handicrafts, handloom, hardware, building material and furniture would remain open, they said.

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