Pune: Despite the mayor's call for a janata or voluntary curfew in the city from Monday (September 7), the Baramati business community has strongly opposed the 14-day ‘unofficial’ lockdown. Both the Baramati Chamber of Commerce and the Merchants Association have expressed strong disapproval.
Traders said they have been cooperating in the past to overcome the Covid-19 crisis and will continue to do so, but this time they were not consulted before taking this decision. As traders protested against the 14-day janata curfew, discussions are now underway on how traders will respond to the call.
Narendra Gujarathi, president of Baramati Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Mahavir Vadujkar, president of Merchants Association have expressed their displeasure over this. Corporators Sunil Saste, Vishnupant Chaudhary, Vijay Agam, Shakir Bagwan and Sagar Chinchkar have also written to the sub-divisional officers demanding that shops should not be closed and unilateral and sudden lockdown should not be done in view of the recession.
Although the administration felt the need to take this decision due to the rising number of Covid-19 patients, it was necessary to consult with the traders and citizen representatives. After the previous lockdown, the situation has now started recovering a bit.
Traders said, "The kharif season crop of the farmers is about to hit the market. Green gram, millet and maize are the crops that have been harvested and if there is no system to sell them, the farmers will suffer huge financial loss. Even during the lockdown announced by the central government, the market yard was allowed to continue trading. It needs to be discussed. We are not opposed to the lockdown. We expect the authorities to understand the problems of traders and farmers."
The number of Covid-19 cases has crossed the 300 mark in three days. While some citizens are supporting a strict lockdown, many have questioned whether lockdown is a real option and whether it will actually reduce the number of patients.
Traders say that already the economic situation is in turmoil and hence normalcy regarding business transactions should be restored. Other citizens are of the view that saving lives should be on priority while the rest can be handled later.
Meanwhile, Baramati has crossed the mark of 1,300 in terms of COVID-19 cases.