Warning To Traders: Follow Social Distancing, Else Face Criminal Action Or Licence Cancellation

Bhubaneswar: To check the spread of novel coronavirus, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Police Commissioner Sudhanshu Sarangi on Sunday warned traders of licence cancellation if they failed to maintain social-distancing norms outside the shops from Monday.

With the 48-hour shutdown in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar ending at 8 pm, he said shops will open from Monday. “We have to maintain a distance of at least 2 metres during both lockdown and shutdown periods. And shopkeepers have to draw circles and ensure that people maintain social distancing by deploying a salesperson outside the shop,” Sarangi said.

He added that police would report any violation to the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and steps would be initiated to cancel their trade licence.

The Police Commissioner also warned them of criminal action under Sections 269, 270 and 271 of Disaster Management Act if social-distancing norms are not adhered to. “If the virus spreads because of this violation, then you can be arrested and your shop closed,” he explained, adding that this order will remain in force as long as the problem persists.

BMC Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary said that this decision had to be taken as joint efforts in this regard had failed to produce desired results.

“Social distancing was not maintained at market areas, shops and non-veg markets and accordingly action was also taken,” he said. “Tomorrow onwards, it is their responsibility to ensure that social distancing norms are adhered to.”

He also urged people not to crowd shops and make use of the mobile van facility to buy small items.

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