BHOPAL: The restrictions on inter-state travel and rumours doing the rounds have affected business in the state capital. The state government has issued travel guidelines comprising restrictions of various sorts for anyone entering the borders of Madhya Pradesh from Maharashtra.
Madhya Pradesh traders rely on bringing goods from such states as Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal and Gujarat. A surge in the number of corona cases in these states has forced the Madhya Pradesh government to impose travel restrictions.
On the other hand, security has been beefed up on the borders due to the impending elections and that, too, is dissuading traders from visiting other states for imports of their goods.
The businesses most affected by the current spike in the number of corona cases are catering, bullion, garments, shoes, electronic gadgets and others.
A trader, Sunil Agrawal, says he deals in readymade garments and visits Mumbai to select their designs. ‘I own a showroom of traditional outfits and, to select the designs, we need to travel,’ he says. The new restrictions have made people like Agrawal wary of inter-state travel and they are not sure whether, after reaching Mumbai, they will have to be quarantined.
‘The festival season is nearing. Earlier, people used to buy garments in bulk at this time of year, but now, very few customers are visiting us,’ adds Agrawal.
RD Singh, who installs glow-signboards in Bhopal, brings the electronic items from Delhi. He says the Delhi government recently sought a negative RT-PCR report from people entering the national capital. ‘Now, there are other guidelines from our state government and things are turning confusing,’ says Singh. ‘We’re avoiding travelling to Delhi and other states, which is affecting our business,’ Singh says. ‘Fear of contracting the disease is also a reason we’ve chosen to avoid any kind of travel,’ he says.
The catering business is also suffering just as the other businesses due to restrictions on indoor parties. The night curfew is a reason why the people are not taking any risk of gathering.
The owner of a catering firm, Guru Caterers, says, ‘As the people aren’t gathering for any party in large numbers, we, too, are suffering just as the other businesses, although we’re not required to travel out of the state’.