Madurai

Collector holds talks with trade representatives

Collector Shilpa Prabhakar Satish on Tuesday held comprehensive discussions with officials and representatives of traders and entrepreneurs on the issue of reopening businesses in the district.

Chairing the meeting at the Collectorate here, the Collector said large commercial complexes, supermarkets, teashops, salons, beauty parlours, massage centres, automobile and jewellery showrooms, air-conditioned textile stores, domestic appliances outlets, cabs and autorickshaws would not be allowed to function as per norms. The larger industries should apply separately for permission to resume operations.

Shops in urban areas would be allowed to function from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., while those in rural areas could start their operations an hour earlier. Restaurants and eateries could allow only ‘take-aways’ as serving food on the premises was strictly prohibited. Construction workers should be allowed to stay at their workplace instead of being ferried to the site everyday.

At the same time, there would be no bar on hospitals, pharmacies, agriculture and related businesses, Ms. Shilpa said.

Gunasingh Chelladurai, president, Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Tirunelveli, suggested that cement and hardware dealers might be allowed to work twice a week so that aspiring buyers could stock construction material for the next couple of weeks. “It will be a win-win situation for all concerned. While this arrangement will fulfil consumer needs, it will also ensure decent business to the stockist. At the same time, shops functioning for only two days a week will not affect vehicular traffic within the city,” he said.

The Collector agreed to the suggestion.

On the possibility of opening centrally air-conditioned supermarkets, jewellery and textile showrooms, Ms. Shilpa made it clear that multi-storeyed buildings could not be allowed to reopen as per norms laid down by the government during lockdown. “Though shops with ‘ground plus one’ structure can open and transact business, there should be proper ventilation on the first floor as per the norms,” she pointed out, indicating that prospects for resumption of business were not bright.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), Tirunelveli City, S. Saravanan said supervisors of liquor shops, which would be opened on May 7, should erect casuarina poles and draw 100 circles to make the crowd line up within them. “The supervisor should ensure that there is no crowding at any point of time.”

Although retail vegetable sale went on at Schaffter Higher Secondary School, the wholesale market continued to function from Nainarkulam Market for transporting produce to various destinations including neighbouring Kerala. Fearing that the gathering of a large number of traders at the spot would lead to viral contraction, Corporation officials sealed the market on Tuesday.

When the wholesale traders appealed to the Collector to allow them to continue their business from the same place, Ms. Shilpa told them that they should cooperate with the district administration and shift their shops temporarily to the now deserted new bus-stand at Vaeinthankulam.

But traders, who were not ready to shift, indefinitely closed the market, which was subsequently sealed by Corporation officials.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 7:10:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/collector-holds-talks-with-trade-representatives/article31511421.ece

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