Srinagar: The Srinagar district administration is mulling to reopen markets after August 15 after several traders assured it of following all Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) needed to keep COVID-19 at bay.
As per the SOPs, we had opened the markets on June 13, but then a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases was witnessed, following which we reimposed the lockdown. We have discussed reopening of markets from August 16 with the traders, and if 50 per cent of the markets are opened, then the SOPs should be followed. There will be no need of lockdown if people follow the SOPs. The SOPs will be publicised again so that people adhere to the norms,” said the District Commissioner, Shahid Iqbal Chowdhary, as per a news report.
Chowdhary urged people to adhere to the SOPs after the opening of religious places on August 16.
“We had a meeting with 3,000 religious heads, and they are prepared. It is very important that we follow the SOPs, wear masks, maintain social distancing and take all precautionary measures,” the report quoted the DC saying.
On Thursday, Kashmir Inc had slammed the government for punishing people by imposing indefinite lockdown while opening golf courses for the rich and mighty.
Lashing out at the government for “misplaced priorities”, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) said the authorities are spending money on buying concertina wires rather than medical equipment to deal with a pandemic.
“Despite full cooperation extended by the general public and the business community, the administration appeared to be running around in circles and seem oblivious to the fact that the business community of Kashmir is in the 13th month of a disruption,” said a spokesman of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
He said on the other side the Royals have been enjoying their golf rounds without any break whereas the shopkeepers are put behind bars for seeking to feed their families out of frustration.
“This coincided with the government’s announcement of shifting of Durbar to Srinagar. It has been ensured that the RSGC remains open. Even when District Magistrate declared curfew in Srinagar on August 4 and 5 and the majority of 17 lakh people were caged, the RSGC was open and jam-packed. The jurisdiction of the district magistrate ends at the gates of RSGC,” he said.
The authorities dismissed the charge.
Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, who is also chairman of Srinagar DDMA, stated: “No funds have been either requisitioned, authorized, released or utilised out of SDRF for road barricades.”
Royal Springs Golf Course (RSGC), which was closed till May, has been opened in June, he said.