Traders in Delhi are concerned about the odd-even rule placed on shops as part of the state government’s ‘yellow’ alert to combat the spike in coronavirus cases. The state administration has issued a ‘yellow alert,’ allowing shops in marketplaces to stay open on an odd-even basis from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.
While the Omicron scenario in the national capital is concerning, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) believes that operating markets on an odd-even system is foolish. “Instead of operating markets on complete lockdown or an odd-even arrangement, the Delhi government must come up with ways and means to encourage and urge people to embrace the COVID safety protocol,” said CAIT General Secretary Praveen Khandelwal.
But how will the Delhi government’s odd-even regulation affect businesspeople? According to Atul Bhargava, President of the New Delhi Traders Association, firms will lose 60-70 percent of their revenue, with 50 percent of the loss due to shops being open only 15 days a month. Customers will be afraid to leave their houses, which will account for 20% of the losses.
“The 31st of December and the 1st of January are both odd days. There are days when sales used to spike, but now every shopkeeper with an odd shop number sits at home on those days,” Bhargava added.
Meanwhile, Khandelwal questioned the authorities worried about whether COVID-19 laws for public assemblies, political rallies, and programs could be different. Coronavirus, according to Khandelwal, does not discriminate between political activities and public gatherings.
“Will the rules for public gatherings and political rallies and programs be different?” Why hasn’t this been considered by any state government or disaster relief agency? Remember, COVID-19 does not discriminate; it only alerts and protects. “Do not crowds—avoid crowds,” the Secretary-General of the CAIT tweeted.