Monday, Oct 03, 2022
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Delhi Traders Hope To Recoup Losses After DDMA Lifts Curbs

On Friday, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), chaired by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, decided to withdraw all restrictions from Monday, reduce the fine for not wearing masks from Rs 2,000 to Rs 500 and resume physical classes in Delhi schools from April 1.

Delhi traders hope for their business to be back on track, with the DDMA lifting COVID-19 curbs
Delhi traders hope for their business to be back on track, with the DDMA lifting COVID-19 curbs PTI

Several market associations in the national capital are hopeful that their business will be back on track, which was affected due to the COVID-19 restrictions, after the city government decided to withdraw all curbs, including night curfew. On Friday, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), chaired by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, decided to withdraw all restrictions from Monday, reduce the fine for not wearing masks from Rs 2,000 to Rs 500 and resume physical classes in Delhi schools from April 1.

Ashok Randhawa, president of the Sarojini Nagar mini-market traders’ association, said that the lifting of the night curfew comes as the "biggest" relief. “We welcome this move by the Delhi government, the lieutenant governor and the DDMA. With the lifting of the night curfew, we will get more time to do business. During weekdays, most of the customers come to the market for shopping after their office hours. As the restrictions were in place and the market used to close by 8 pm, many of them returned home without shopping.

“The wedding season is in place and many customers are visiting the market. There is Holi next month and the cases are also reducing. We are hoping that no other variant of the coronavirus comes in the future…” Randhawa said. Tony Chawla, Janpath market traders’ association secretary, said it is a tourist-oriented market and an increase in their footfall means a growth in business. “The Janpath market is a tourist-oriented market and the movement of national and international flights will help us get our businesses back on track. Lifting of the night curfew will not affect us as the market opens at 11 am and closes by 7.30 pm or 8 pm.

“However, we welcome this move as removing the restrictions will add more local customers. We follow Covid appropriate behaviour and it will be continued,” Chawla said. Kamla Nagar market traders’ association president Nitin Gupta, too, also welcomed the government’s move. The Kamla Nagar market, located near the north campus of Delhi University, is a major attraction for students for pocket-friendly shopping.

“We are happy and hopeful that the business will be back on track after two years. The market is a big attraction for college students. The paying guest facilities are again getting filled and the movement of the students has increased in the market area, which is a good sign for the traders. “The city budget will also be introduced in the coming days and we are hoping that the government will do something for the traders as they have gone through a difficult time…” Gupta said.

“After detailed discussions with experts, in view of the decline in COVID positive cases and hospitalisation, it was decided to remove all COVID-19 related restrictions in Delhi from February 28, 2022 (Monday) while adhering to the guidelines issued by the Govt. of India and ensuring observance of COVID-Appropriate Behaviour, including wearing of masks & maintaining social distancing,” Baijal had tweeted after the meeting on Friday. The restrictions were put in place in December last year after cases of COVID-19 saw a rapid surge in the capital.

With PTI Inputs

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