New Delhi [India], January 29 (ANI): As the Delhi government lifted the weekend curfew and odd-even system for shops in the markets, traders in the national capital are hoping to have their businesses back on track.
With the lifting of the weekend curfew, shops remained open on Saturday in Delhi markets. Shopkeepers are relieved with the government's move.
Vijay Bajaj, a shopkeeper at Lajpat Nagar Market said, "It is a big relaxation and the decision is in favour of the shopkeepers. We faced huge losses in the last lockdown. Despite the lockdown, we have to give the salary to the staff, electricity bill that too without opening the shop. It has been very difficult to run our business. Most of the sales take place at weekends."
"We are now a little relieved after the weekend curfew is lifted. This is the first weekend since the restrictions have been removed. We hope for the best that we make good business this weekend. I think people are not that scared of COVID now and hope that rush will be there in the market. Also, people need to have buying capacity. The economic condition of people needs to get better and then only the charm of the market will return," Bajaj told ANI.
Another shopkeeper at Lajpat Nagar Market, Ashok said the lifting of weekend curfew is good news for traders as the business of the entire week is generally covered at the weekends. He also said that shopkeepers are quite sceptical about the footfall since many people might not be aware that markets are now open on the weekend.
"It is a season of weddings. Customers will come. The government's decision is very good for all of us. Last month was very difficult. During odd-even restrictions, there was a lot of confusion among customers. It created difficulty," Rakesh Kumar Chabbra, a shopkeeper at Lajpat Nagar Market told ANI.
Another shop owner Sarthak Arora said, "Our business was affected a lot because of this. Now that odd-even and weekend curfew has been lifted. The customer flow and sales will increase slowly. I think things will improve slowly now."
Amid a continuous decline in the COVID-19 cases in the national capital, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) decided to relax several COVID-related curbs including the weekend curfew. However, the night curfew will continue in the city as of now.
The decision was taken in a meeting of the DDMA chaired by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to review the COVID-19 situation in Delhi on Thursday.
According to the order passed by the DDMA, there shall be no "Weekend Curfew' on the movement of persons in the NCT of Delhi.
However, Night Curfew from 10 pm to 5 am of every day on movement individuals in NCT of Delhi, shall remain in force in the territory of NCT of Delhi, till further orders.
In markets, market complexes, malls, all shops and establishments dealing with non-essential goods and services shall be allowed to open between 10 AM to 8 PM without the restriction of odd-even.
Delhi registered a decline in its daily COVID caseload as it reported 4,044 new infections with a positivity rate of 8.60 per cent on Friday. According to the health bulletin of the Delhi government, the national capital had 29,152 active COVID cases on Friday. (ANI)