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COVID: Markets again shut in Srinagar as shops to open only for 2 days in a week
6/2/2021 12:24:24 AM
Early Times Report

Srinagar, June 1: The markets were on Tuesday again closed in the summer capital, Srinagar, as shops and business establishments have been allowed to open only for two days in a week on rotational basis in the run-up to partial unlocking of month-long COVID curfew in Kashmir valley.
However, public traffic, with 50 per cent seat capacity, was plying normally in Srinagar city, where chaotic scenes were witnessed in most of the areas in the morning after security forces directed shopkeepers to close their establishments.
After opening for a brief period in the morning, shops and business establishments were closed in all the markets in the city -- including Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the summer capital, Polo Video, Hari Singh High Street (HSHS), Residency road, and Batamaloo. Shopkeepers alleged that they were not communicated about the schedule, according to which shops in the markets can open only twice a week that too on rotational basis. “We were earlier told that markets with shops on both sides of the road will be allowed to open the establishments on rotational basis. One side will open on one day and the other side on another day,” the shopkeepers from Lal Chowk told UNI.
They said the new schedule was unacceptable as it allows a particular shop to open only once a week. “The shopkeeper in the market will have to wait for a week to open his business establishment,” they added.
Similar views were expressed by businessmen and shopkeepers in other parts of the city. The order issued by the Nodal officer, COVID Mitigation Operations, Srinagar read that markets having shops on both sides of the road shall open on rotational basis with business establishments on one side remaining open and the other side remaining closed on Mondays and Thursdays.
Similarly markets having shops on only one side shall be allowed to open odd number shops on Mondays and even number on Thursdays. Standalone shops, barber shops, salons and beauty parlors can open on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
It further said that 25 per cent of the shops inside a shopping mall shall be allowed to operate on a given day. Though, it was not clarified whether they can open the shops on all days or only on Mondays and Thursdays.
“Public transport with 50 per cent seat capacity will be allowed ply on all roads expect Saturday and Sunday due to weekend curfew,” it said. All cinema halls, multiplexes, clubs, gyms, spas and paid parks would also remain closed till further orders in the valley, where weekend and night curfew would continue. After a month-long ‘COVID curfew’ imposed to curtail the spread of COVID-19, shops and business establishments reopened on Monday in Kashmir valley, including summer capital, Srinagar. But, class work remained suspended as educational institutes -- including schools, colleges, universities and private coaching centres -- have been directed to remain closed till June 15 in the valley. The suspension of train service between Baramulla in north Kashmir and Banihal in Jammu region has also been extended till June 9. On April 29, the Jammu and Kashmir administration imposed curfew in 11 districts to curtail the spread of COVID-19, which was subsequently extended to all the 20 districts in the Union Territory the next day. The curfew that was supposed to end on May 3 was extended in Srinagar, Budgam, Baramulla and Jammu till May 6.
However, the Deputy Commissioners of the remaining seven districts in the valley extended the lockdown till May 6 separately. The COVID curfew was later extended till May 10 and then till May 17. The lockdown was again extended till May 24 and then till May 31 morning by the administration.
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