As the state government has allowed hotels, food courts, restaurants, and bars to operate from October 5 onwards, the traders in Panvel are demanding to increase the shops timing as they hardly get business during the day time.
They have demanded that they should be allowed to keep their shops open till 9 pm instead of 7 pm.
Netra Kiran Patil, a BJP corporator from Kharghar has written to the civic administration and demanded to allow shops to operate till 9 pm. Patil said that shops hardly get business during the day-time and they are going through a very difficult phase. At present, all shops have been allowed to open till 7 pm except take away from restaurants which are allowed up to 10 pm.
“Their shops were already closed for almost five months and now, they do not get business as they have to close their shops after 7 pm,” said Patil, adding that actual customers start coming after 7 pm.
As the state government has allowed many services to resume, people have to go to their workplaces and many of them work from home during the day. “The lockdown forced many to shut their business and the few left are struggling to get business due to odd timing,” added Patil.
Rajesh Shrivastava, president of SEWA foundation who helps people in distress say that the timing must be increased as it will increase business. “Due to lockdown, the business of all shops had come to standstill and they suffered huge losses,” said Srivastava, adding that their financial condition is in an extremely poor state and they need customers to bring back their business on track. “If they are allowed two more hours in the evening, they will certainly get good business,” added Shrivastava.
Even, Panvel MLA Prashant Thakur had demanded the opening of business as people were going through extremely tough situations financially. A senior civic official from Panvel Municipal Corporation said that they have received similar demands. However, this is a policy decision that can be taken by the state government.