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Bhopal: Covid is a virus, not an owl, night curfew will not help

Precautions can still avert lockdown possibility, cite local traders.

Staff Reporter | Updated on: Saturday, January 15, 2022, 11:51 PM IST

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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Necessary precautions can still avert the possibility of a lockdown and prevent the loss that the market is anticipating amid chaos of third wave, believes the newly elected chief of Bhopal Chamber of Commerce and Industries Tejkulpal Singh Pali.

The market that went downhill during second wave has managed to reach to a passable stance with 50% recovery as situation has begun to stabilise, he further said. But spike in coronavirus cases again and norm-violating people have left no stone unturned to reach a point six months back when we had no hopes for the market to recover, added Pali.

At present, government has placed restrictions on weddings and festivities that offer maximum business to traders in the city. With wedding season a day away, traders that Free Press talked to are worried that they may have a little to no business.

Navneet Agrawal, a jewellery seller, said, Jewellery is luxury. Nobody is going to buy them when they are stuck in a pandemic. Wedding season has arrived but heavy jewelleries are meant to show to thousands of guests, who have been restricted to 250. And people are facing pay cuts that they would not even bother buying so much of it.

Big players do not suffer at times like these. Small ones have to worry about repaying the loan they took to stock up their shops. So, we are avoiding doing so right now. Who would want to pile up interest money when there is no business? he added.

Pali said most adversely affected industries are jewellery, clothing, marriage gardens, hotels and service sector if the lockdown or restrictions are placed.

The rate at which cases are being reported, we know that people's indifference towards their own and others' health is leading to all this. We still can prevent a lockdown-like situation, if we try. Selfish acts cannot help market or people in general. Government should take harsh steps. Night curfew doesn't make sense. Covid-19 is a virus not an owl, said Pali.

No business, no money and lots and lots of debts

Market did no business during first and second wave. We, however, managed to reach 60%-70% level by October-November last year. Some businesses like clothing even garnered 90%-95% of business. But everything slipped down to 50% with New Year. If situation persists, we may get back to the position we were right after the lockdown ñ no business, no money and a lots and lots of debts, added Pali.

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Published on: Saturday, January 15, 2022, 11:51 PM IST