Pune: Saurabh Rao, Special Officer at Pune Divisional Commissionerate, rejected the trade associations’ demand to allow extended timings for shops to remain open from Friday (July 24). He also made it clear that traders will have to abide by the decisions taken by the administration in larger public interest and ‘no one can threaten the administration with non-cooperation’.
During a media interaction, Rao clarified on the administration’s stance regarding the re-opening of shops and the timings allowed for them.
Rao said, “The traders have submitted two letters requesting us relaxation from lockdown and about shop timings. First, they had asked to keep shops open during Monday to Friday and impose shutdown for two days – Saturday and Sunday. Later they demanded that the shutdown should be imposed on Tuesday and Wednesday. We have decided to consider their requests at a later stage. There will be uniform policy for Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad cities regarding opening or shutting of shops. The Municipal Commissioners and Police Commissioner will take a review of the situation and then arrive at a decision.”
“The traders have cooperated with us so far. The decisions we are taking are in the public interest. I don’t think the traders or anyone can say that they will not follow the rules and norms laid down by the administration during a crisis like this. All stakeholders are responsible citizens and we are sure that they will cooperate with us,” Rao stated.
Earlier, the Federation of Trade Associations of Pune (FATP) had warned the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) of rising public anger against the lockdown and demanded that after the strict lockdown is lifted, all shops should be allowed to open instead of the staggered re-opening on the odd-even formula basis.
“There is a need to bring back the economy on track and hence PMC should allow businesses to reopen. Lockdown is not a solution to Covid-19 and it is not feasible to shut shops during this period. The government should stay away from another lockdown and allow the shops to operate everyday between 9 am to 7 pm. It will help clear all confusion in the minds of traders as well as citizens,” FATP had said.