Shops reopen in MP, people queue up to buy essentials

Bhopal, April 25 (IANS) Shops reopened in many cities in towns of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday following relaxations allowed by the central government in the nationwide lockdown for certain businesses, with people forming long queues in cities like Gwalior or mid-sized towns like Sagar, Damoh , Katni, Satna or Itarsi.

The partial reopening of shops led to chaos in some parts of the state. Non-availability of essential commodities caused disappointment among people in many areas. However, shops remained closed in market complexes and malls across the state.

Long queues of people waiting for long for shops to reopen were seen in Satna, Rewa, and Sidhi towns.

In Bhopal, Collector Tarun K Pithode said: “There will be no relaxation till May 3 in the district since the state capital continues to be in the red zone. The order (amendment) to open 50 per cent shops cannot be enforced in the district in view of the number of coronavirus cases.”

With Indore in the red zone, goods could not be supplied to other towns. Indore is a key business hub that lies on the Mumbai-Agra road. Supplies have remained affected for over a month.

In Gwalior, grocery shops reopened, bringing respite to city residents. The shops have been allowed to open from 7 am to 9 pm, an official said.

Following social distancing, the people were seen making brisk purchases from these grocery outlets.

Shops re-opened in other districts, which remain unaffected or are partially covered under the lockdown, according to reports. The containment areas across the state remained under curfew-like conditions.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan held meetings via videoconference with some Collectors on queries regarding the Centre’s order on opening of shops, an official said.

“Chouhan is expected to issue unified guidelines in compliance with the central order to leave no room of confusion,” he added.

The order had cleared the way for opening of all standalone, neighbourhood shops and shops in residential areas of urban areas.

–IANS

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