Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Denizens have welcomed the decision of the district administration to close markets in the Old City by 11 pm.
Shop owners said that the move may affect their businesses temporarily, but they would get more time to spend with their families. Owners of eateries, however, pointed out that it may cause inconvenience to those arriving at bus terminuses and railway stations late at night.
The district administration on Tuesday announced that strict action will be taken against shops in the Old City that are found open after 11 pm. Only chemist and liquor outlets would be exempted.
The district administration took the decision following a complaint by BJP leader Alok Sharma, who lost the assembly elections from Bhopal North constituency recently. Sharma said that the markets in the Old City remain open round-the-clock and have become dens of anti-social elements . He also said that there cannot be two sets of rules for markets in Old and New city.
Welcoming the decision, Iqbal Baig, a government employee, said, When the markets are open, youngsters waste their time loitering. He added that the order should be implemented strictly and consistently.
Terming the move positive, owner of Alsuf Perfumes in Jahangirabad, Yusuf Khan said, The Prophet used to go home after offering Isha namaz to spend time with his family. And that is what Islam expects of its followers.
Yusuf, who used to keep his shop open till midnight, said, Now it will be closed before 11 pm and I will be able to spend more quality time with my family. Within a week or a month, the customers will realise that the shop closes at 11 pm. The loss would be only temporary, he added.
Mohd Qamar, who owns Delhi Zaika near Laxmi Cinema, said that his hotel is open from 10 am to 3 am. Mainly passengers who arrive after midnight come for meals. They will have nowhere to go if the hotels are also closed at 11 pm, he said.
Denying the notion that the entire Old City remains open till the wee hours, Qamar claimed that Only 5-6 percent shops, mainly eateries, are open till dawn.
Bindu Dheer, an entrepreneur, also welcomed the decision. It is good for the shopkeepers, too. They would be able to spend more time with their families, she said.