Ghaziabad: On fresh directions from the UP government, the Ghaziabad administration on Saturday announced new timings for grocery, fruits, vegetable and milk vendors. As per the new rules, Ghaziabad residents will be able to venture only for a few hours during the lockdown.
Milk parlours will now remain open for three hours in the morning, from 7 am to 10 am, and for two hours in the evening, from 4 pm to 6 pm, officials said, adding that the grocery stores, fruits and vegetable shops will remain open for four hours only, from 7 am to 11 am.
In Noida too, the district administration has directed grocery shops to remain open from 7 am to 11 am only.
Meanwhile, the move has received a mixed response from resident and trader associations in Ghaziabad. “Earlier too, the administration had announced similar directions for the lockdown. In reality, grocery stores, vegetable and fruit shops in most parts of the city remain open throughout the day. There was no enforcement at all,” said Alok Kumar, an Indirapuram resident. He added, “We are not sure it the lockdown will be extended. In either case, the new timings will only work if it is enforced properly.”
Anirudh Vasistha, a member of a traders’ body Vaishali Vypaar Mandal, said: “If the shops open for a fixed time, it will result in more people thronging to the markets. In such a case, maintaining Covid-appropriate behaviour will be tough.” He added, “As of now, most of these shops remain open all through the day. From morning to evening, people can choose staggered timings to go to the markets.”
Suresh Mahto, a vegetable vendor, said that the new timings will affect their business in more ways than one. “As a norm, we procure fresh vegetables from the mandi. We sell all through the day and visit mandis after three or four days. Now, with just four hours in the morning, it would be difficult to procure large quantities of fresh vegetables. In that stipulated time, we would not be able to sell it off,” said Mahto, adding that “due the prevailing situation, we will have to bear with the timings.”
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