Pune: The Pune Vyapari Mahasangh has decided to keep non-essential shops closed till they receive clear directives from the district administration. The meeting was conducted through zoom. The Mahasangh members opposed the opening of the liquor shops and expressed their displeasure with the district administration.
“The COVID-19 cases in the city are increasing. Therefore, we cannot take the risk of endangering the shopkeepers and spreading it further by opening any shops. Therefore, it has been decided that all the shops except those selling essential commodities will remain closed until further notice. At present, the lockdown is extended to May 17, so shops will remain closed till then. Later, we will again conduct a meeting to decide when to open the shops,” said Fateh Chand Ranka, President of Pune Vyapari Mahasangh and Poona Saraf Association.
He added, “We have also opposed the opening of liquor shops as there is a huge crowd in front of these shops and no one is following the social distancing protocol. We have also conveyed the same during a meeting with the district administration. If the situation outside these shops continues the same, the infection will likely spread. The situation will become worse with health infrastructure getting overwhelmed.”
The Mahasangh had decided to close all the shops except those of essential commodities and chemists from March 17. More than 30,000 shops are part of this association.
SCAI reaches out to officials for phased opening
The Shopping Centres Association of India (SCAI) has also reached out to the State Government with a set of SOPs and guidelines for the reopening of Malls in the country, a press release stated. The SCAI has asserted and collectively with industry captains, endorsed the ability of shopping centres to enforce protocols in a far more efficient manner than many others who have benefited from the relaxation. While preparing the SOPs, SCAI has held several consultations with the captains of the industry and has adopted global best practices to ensure that the spread of Covid-19 is contained.
Amitabh Taneja, Chairman, SCAI said, “SCAI has been advocating the need for concerted support from the Government and Financial Institutions towards the survival and long-term sustainability of organised retail trade in India. The decentralised strategy to exit the lockdown is grounded by firm guidelines that will help in the economic recovery.
“As an industry, we are responsible for the livelihood of 12 million people across the country and firmly believe that the fate of these livelihoods can be protected. The EHS guidelines (SoPs) submitted to the government today is one step forward in the right direction to help the most important stakeholder – the government - in kickstarting the economy at the earliest.”