Pune: Municipal Corporation (PMC) has revised its guidelines and allowed all non-essential shops to operate on all days from 9am to 7pm from August 5. This decision has provided a big relief to traders in the city who were under financial stress since the lockdown began four months back in March.
PMC Commissioner Vikram Kumar has issued the revised orders on Tuesday (August 4) stating that the earlier orders regarding opening of shops on alternate days based on odd-even dates formula stands cancelled.
The Federation of Trade Associations of Pune (FATP) had demanded the cancellation of odd-even basis formula for shop reopening permission. The traders had apprehensions regarding confusion in the minds of customers about timings and days of shops remaining open especially during the upcoming festive season starting from Ganeshotsav.
FATP had also raised questions about the double standards of the civic and district administration of Pune which allowed malls to operate seven days a week from 9am to 7pm, but asked the street shops to stay open only on alternate days based on the odd-even system. FATP President Fattechand Ranka and Secretary Mahendra Pitaliya had written a letter to Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao, District Collector Naval Kishor Ram and Pune Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar citing the contrary orders by district administrations within and outside Pune city.
Traders’ demands were neglected twice by the district administration earlier. Even on Monday (August 3) during a press conference when PMC Commissioner Vikram Kumar was asked about the removal of odd-even basis formula for shops reopening, he had declined the proposal from traders. “We are following the state government directives and it clearly says that shops should be allowed to open on alternate days. If the state government revises its orders we will consider revising our decision,” Vikram Kumar had said.
When media persons pointed out that Akola and Mumbai Municipal Commissioners had taken an independent decision of allowing shops to open on all days, Kumar had said that he will study those orders. A day later after this ‘study’, PMC Commissioner Kumar revised the orders regarding shop timings and days.