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Lucknow traders appeal for relaxed restrictions as high infection rates subside

Shops across the major markets in the city were willingly closed by their owners on April 15 after the case tallies soared.

As the pandemic continues with its appalling effects for the second year in a row, traders and businesses are finding it hard to sustain amid these tough times. Subsequently, the retailers in Lucknow are now requesting the state administration to relax the ongoing lockdown curbs so that the shops can be opened. Previously, shops across the major markets in the city were willingly closed by their owners on April 15 after the infection tallies soared, owing to the onslaught of the second wave.

Shutdown period extending over 40 days!

While the case count is gradually returning back to the controlled zone, the lockdown has been extended in Uttar Pradesh till May 31 as a precautionary move. Notably, the market establishments in Lucknow have been closed since mid-April and it will be almost one and a half months now, before they are expected to reopen. Given the extended period of closure, the dealers and shopkeepers in Lucknow have suffered huge losses and their trade has been affected drastically.

As the situation seems to be diffusing with a marked downfall in fresh cases, there are multiple appeals by shop-owners to permit the opening of the marketing centres. Speaking about this, Hazratganj Traders Association President Kishan Chandra Bambhani stated that the restraints must be relaxed now so that the stalled businesses can be revived. One of the major concerns is the outstanding dues, which can only be repaid once the route to income restarts.

Halted source of income and dwindling savings

UP Kapda Vyapar Mandal President Ashok Motiyani said: "We should allow the markets to reopen with strict safety protocols. The corona cases have come down and we cannot afford to allow shops to remain closed for a longer period." Further, another traders' leader believes that the shopowners have survived on their savings for long, as their no source of income in this period. He feels that the retail business must have been allowed for a specified duration every day, given the fact that a complete shutdown has led to dire effects over it.

Amongst all businesses in the city, the florists have suffered significantly due to the time constraints associated with the sale of flowers. While the inventories have wilted waiting for customers, there are no reliable signs of respite anytime soon. This has forced most small-scale dealers to take up other jobs amid the uncertainties. You can read more about the faded vibrance of the city's flower markets by clicking here.

Knock Knock

As local establishments reopen after the restoration of normalcy, it is important that we direct our resources towards supporting them and their revival. Only when we strengthen the local economic ecosystems, it will be ensured that the Indian Economy reverts to a stable path of development.

- With inputs from IANS

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