Kozhikode

Traders in Kozhikode hit hard by imposition of fresh COVID-19 curbs

Traders are worried about loss of business owing to COVID restrictions in Kozhikode district.   | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

Traders and merchants in Kozhikode district are peeved over the loss of business in the Vishu-Ramzan festival season owing to the restrictions imposed by the administration to contain COVID-19.

District functionaries of the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi, the biggest platform of traders in the State, said their members were going through a tough phase for the past few years. They had to face the Nipah outbreak that affected Kozhikode and Malappuram in 2018, back-to-back floods, and the pandemic. When it was felt that there had been a dip in fresh cases in recent weeks, the traders had stocked materials to sell during the Vishu-Ramzan season this year. The restrictions have now dashed their hopes.

“S.M. Street in Kozhikode city is one of the worst affected places. Even after the lockdown was withdrawn, it remained closed for long, along with some parts of Valiyangadi. The traders and merchants are staring at a bleak future as most of them had stocked up materials on credit for sale now,” said K. Sethumadhavan, one of the State secretaries of the Samithi, based in Kozhikode. He said that if the officials had hinted about possible restrictions after the Assembly elections, the traders would not have stocked things.

“From today, beaches in Kozhikode are closed to the public after 5 p.m. That means more people may come to S.M. Street. But the two entrances to the street are now blocked. Those who are coming here are reportedly being turned away by the police. And, people are scared of coming out as they may have to cough up a fine,” he said.

He pointed out that the district administration had not consulted the traders before imposing restrictions. “The State council of the Samithi will discuss how to go about doing business,” he added.

Meanwhile, a statement from the State council of the Samithi blamed politicians for the current mess, saying that Ministers and other elected representatives had no restrictions during the election campaign. Lakhs of people had attended their rallies and pandemic protocols were thrown to the wind. Efforts were on to impose restrictions on traders who were already struggling to stay afloat, the statement added.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 11:24:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/traders-in-kozhikode-hit-hard-by-imposition-of-fresh-covid-19-curbs/article34297914.ece

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