Navi Mumbai: The Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Friday issued a new circular allowing shops to open seven days a week.
Earlier, the civic body had allowed shops to open on an odd-even basis which was opposed by shop owners as they were facing difficulties in carrying out their business. The new order will be applicable from August 15.
After two strict lockdowns in July, the civic body had allowed opening shops on an odd-even basis from August 1.
According to shop owners, there was a lot of confusions and it was difficult to open a shop one day and close for the other day. “There was no business in the last four months and now the system is affecting the little business we are getting,” said a shopkeeper in Panvel.
Panvel MLA Prashant Thakur raised the concern of small shop owners before civic administration and sought a written guarantee on the opening of shops all day.
“I had raised the concern and also warned of protest if shops are not allowed to operate all days,” said Thakur. He added that small businessmen are facing huge financial difficulties and there is a need to look into their problems.
“While small shops were allowed to open on odd and even system, big stores like D-Mart and others were allowed to open all days,” said Thakur. He added that this is discrimination with small businessmen.
As per the circular, all shops except for malls, shopping complex, gym and swimming pool will be allowed to open seven days a week from August 15.
Meanwhile, the civic administration has warned of action if social distancing at shops is not maintained and people are seen without masks.
“Though we have allowed shops to open all days, the lockdown norms will continue and all shops have to close by 7 pm as night curfew is continued,” said a senior civic official from PMC.
At present, the PMC has a total of 1647 active cases of Covid-19. The PMC is witnessing between 150 to 190 positive cases of COVID 19 per day and total cases reached 8616 with 205 deaths. The recovery rate stands at 78.51%.