Traders protest as Chennai Corporation’s order to close shops in commercial areas comes into force

Traders at Zambazaar market protesting against the restrictions on Saturday   | Photo Credit: Raghunathan S R

The Greater Chennai Corporation and the police have sent zonal enforcement teams to monitor violations by traders in crowded commercial areas that have been closed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chennai Corporation issued an order on closure of shops in nine commercial areas of the city for 10 days, following a rise in COVID-19 cases, after holding discussions with representatives of traders.

Many traders who do not operate on the list of roads to be closed, have also shut shop, in areas such as T. Nagar, officials said. Most of the shops on NSC Bose Road, Broadway, Bharathi Salai, Triplicane and other places in commercial areas of the city remained closed. Three vehicles of zonal enforcement teams were sent on Saturday to Ranganathan Street in T. Nagar. Seven vehicles have been sent to areas such as Purasawalkam, Aminjikarai and NSC Bose Road.

V. S. Jayaraman, of the T. Nagar Residents Welfare Association, said the crowds have reduced on Usman Road after the announcement of the Chennai Corporation. “Residents were worried as the crowds were uncontrollable during the weekends. We expected the Corporation to close shops during the weekends. But they have closed for 10 days,” he said.

Traders said they did not have any clarity on the roads that were to be closed and were waiting for information from the officials visiting the localities for enforcement.

Traders protest

Meanwhile, a section of traders gathered on Bharathi Salai on Saturday morning opposing the sudden decision to close the shops for another 10 days. The decision was suddenly implemented without giving traders sufficient time, and should have been communicated earlier, they said.

When a few traders came to open their shops on Saturday morning, civic authorities asked them to close and began imposing fines. That was when the traders came to the road and the police and civic authorities had to pacify them.

V.P. Mani, president of Triplicane Traders’ Association, said, “The authorities should have given us sufficient time. They should not announce the decision in the late hours and expect the traders to close down shops the next morning. Most of our traders here deal the perishable items such as meat, fish, fruits. If the shops are closed suddenly, all the items will go waste. Traders will incur loss. So we have asked the authorities to permit the sale of perishable items until the present stock is disposed of.”

Police personnel went around appealing the shopkeepers to cooperate with police in implementing the guidelines of the government. Assistant Commissioner of Police, Triplicane M.S. Bhaskar said, “Traders have been advised to take their goods for sale from the regular market and they can sell on mobile vehicles.”

As per the Chennai Corporation’s announcement, shops between Ranganathan Street-North Usman Road junction and Mambalam railway station will remain closed from July 31 to August 9. The shops are expected to remain closed till 6 a.m. on August 9.

Shops will remain closed during the same period in other commercial areas of Doveton junction to Brickiln Road junction in Purasawalkam; Bharathi Salai Ratna Cafe junction to Bells Road Junction; Fakir Sahib Street, Habibullah Street, Pulipone Bazaar, NSC Bose Road-Kuralagam junction to Mint Street junction; Royapuram Kalmandapam Salai, Water Tank to Kamatchi Amman Koil, Aminjikarai police outpost to Pulla Avenue; Thiru. Vi. Ka. Park Junction, and Red Hills Anjaneyar Statue to Ambedkar Statue.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 5:46:23 AM |

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