New Delhi: The heartland of street shopping, the famous Sarojini Nagar market opened on Wednesday following new guidelines during lockdown 4.0.
However, only a few shops were seen open as shopkeepers face staff crunch because of migrant labourers going back to their native states. With only a few shops open, the norms of social distancing were being followed and demarcations were created on the floor to ensure maximum distance was maintained between customers at shops.
Ashok Randhwa, president of Sarojini Nagar Mini Market Trader Association, said that the Delhi Police had restrained them from opening shops stating that only one-third of the number of shops would be allowed to open.
"Today the additional DCP came to the shops and said that you can only open one-third the number of shops. We then told him that the Delhi government has ordered the opening of shops on an odd-even basis," he said.
He added: "The DCP also asked us to maintain a register mentioning the name of the customer, address and their temperature and if any detail was missing, a case would be registered." When asked who issued these orders, he only said that the orders need to be followed and then we were able to open these shops.
One of the shopkeepers told ANI that they are facing a severe shortage of staff. "Many of the staff were from other states including Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and have returned to their home states. I welcome the decision to allow the markets to open as it will help street vendors to earn their livelihood," said a shopkeeper.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced that markets in the national capital can open but shops are allowed to operate only on an odd-even basis during the lockdown period till May 31.