BHOPAL: Traders are divided on changing the market timings from 10.00 pm to 8.00 pm in view of the increasing number corona cases in the state capital. The New Market Traders’ Association has refused to change the timings on the plea that a change in the timings increases the influx of crowds in the market, while the Thok Vypari Mahasangh has advocated a change in the timings to curb the rising number of corona cases, bolstering their case with the argument that the peak hours of markets is between 5.00 pm and 8.00 pm.
However, all the traders have agreed to intensify their campaign for proper implementation of Covid-19 guidelines, such as putting on masks and maintaining social distancing in the markets. The markets form the main assembly point for the public. So, the onus for compliance of Covid-19 protocols lies with the public, as well as with the traders. Despite knowing that the vaccination drive is on, a large section of the populace has still not got vaccinated. So, adherence to the Covid-19 protocols is the only way to stay safe. The last time, the traders had taken the decision to change the timing from 10.00 pm to 8.00 pm to curb the spread of corona. Initially, it was up to 5.00 pm and, then, gradually, it was increased up to 10.00 pm and then it was cut short to 8.00 pm.
‘Won’t change timings’
"We’ll not change the timings of the market this time as it increases the influx of crowds in the market. So, the timing of 10.00 pm for closing the market will remain unchanged. We’ll intensify the campaign to ensure proper implementation of the Covid-19 guidelines from our side," said Ajay Dewanani, general secretary, New Market Traders’ Association.
‘Should change timings’
"The peak business hours of a market is between 5.00 pm and 8.00 pm — whether at Jumerati, Jahangirabad, Hanumanganj or Lakherapura. Now, the market stays open till 10.00 pm. So, the administration should change the timings just to raise awareness in the public which is acting callously over the corona protocols," remarked Anupam Agrawal, general secretary, Thok Vypari Mahasangh.