COVID-19: Markets in Srinagar to reopen from tomorrow, public transport to return on road

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Markets will reopen and public transport services will resume operations as per a regulated schedule from tomorrow in Srinagar. In an order issued, in Srinagar, the District Magistrate Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary has lifted restrictions on business and transport operations in Srinagar allowing a regulated resumption thereof.

The decision to allow re-opening of shops and resumption of operation of public transport service was taken after careful consideration of different aspects of the situation as it exists in the district. It is notable that restrictions on business among other activities and operations in the district have been in place for around five months now with just a limited relaxation permitted during the month-long unlock period before restrictions had to be reimposed.

The order issued pursuant to the State Executive Committee order dated 4 August 2020 permits reopening of 50 per cent shops in all markets and resumption of public transport operations with the boarding of 50 per cent passengers in minibuses and up to a maximum of four passengers in ten-seater maxi-cabs, and two passengers in taxicabs and auto-rickshaws.

In all markets, alternate shops will open so as to prevent crowding and to enable queuing of customers as per the advised distancing norm. Market associations will decide the roster and ensure strict implementation thereof. The decision in this regard follows consultations with trade bodies and market associations of the district.

Speaking in reference to it, the DM said the district administration has full faith in the business and trading communities of the district and is sure that there will be strict compliance with all SOPs and guidelines like wearing of face masks and observance of distancing while going about their businesses.

The instructions for resumption of public transport service include a plan for the number of vehicles that will be allowed to operate on designated routes in the district. To reduce footprint, not more than a third of the total number of vehicles will be allowed to operate on a route. It is notable that there are around 80 designated public transport routes in Srinagar.

The markets will reopen after the ongoing second lockdown enforced last month after a one-month-long unlock period whereas the public transport service will resume operations for the first time since March when restrictions thereon were imposed following outbreak of COVID-19 in J&K.

Concerned authorities have been authorised to take strict action against instances of non-compliance with instructions as issued under the order or violations of preventive guidelines and SOPs the government has devised in efforts to reduce spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, places of worship in Srinagar are reopening today after being closed – as a preventive measure as part of the government’s larger efforts at containing spread of COVID-19 – since March.

To ensure strict compliance with SOPs and guidelines the government has devised in consultation with health experts, the district administration has reached out to managing committees of places of worship of all faiths and sensitised them about do’s and don’ts to prevent spread of COVID-19.

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