Bhubaneswar: With the 48-hour shutdown in the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack ending at 8 pm on Sunday, the Odisha Byabasayee Mahasangh, anticipating a heavy rush in markets, has urged the retailers to open their shop on Monday.
Briefing the media after a meeting with Police Commissioner Sudhanshu Sarangi in the afternoon, secretary of the Mahasangh Sudhakar Panda said the that the retailers have been asked to purchase essential commodities from the wholesalers once the shutdown order is lifted at 8 pm and open their shop at 7 am on Monday.
“The Mahasangh has taken the decision as there is a possibility of violation of the social distancing guidelines as people will desperately rush to the market to purchase essential items,” he said.
Panda further said that the retailers have been told to strictly adhere to the social distancing norms and ask the customers to maintain at least two-metre distance from each other. If any retailer is found guilty of violating the directive, police will take stern action and seal the shop, he said.
To facilitate access to essential items and avoid overcrowding at the existing shops, he said that the Mahasangh has proposed to open additional grocery counters at different bus stop sheds in the twin cities from Monday. Besides, it has also proposed to take some municipality shops on lease and open grocery counters. “Talks are on with the state government and we are hoping for a positive response,” he said.
Requesting people to refrain from panic buying, he said that there are no restrictions on opening and closing of shops in the twin cities and all grocery shops will remain open from 7 am to 9 pm.
“I want to assure people that we have sufficient stock of essential items to last for three week,” he added.