Bhubaneswar, Aug 1: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Saturday has instructed all market associations and shopkeepers under its jurisdiction in the Capital City of Odisha to strictly follow COVID-19 guidelines and ensure their customers follow the same while coming to their stores for buying goods. The Civic Body has also asked the shopkeepers that they shouldn’t entertain a customer, if he or she doesn’t obey the rules such as maintaining enough social distance or not wearing masks.
The BMC has laid emphasis on scaling up the precautionary measures after a meeting was held with all market associations’ representatives this morning under the chairmanship of BMC Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary, and in presence of Sudhanshu Sarangi, Commissioner of Police, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack and Bhubaneswar Covid-19 observers, Anu Garg and N Tirumala Nayak, among other officials of the civic body.
Saying chances of COVID-19 infection can be reduced significantly in the city if both the shopkeepers and customers strictly follow Govt guidelines, BMC Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary said there will be strict enforcement and heavy penalty on roadside eateries and fast-food shops they don’t discourage people eating on streets and encourage takeaways instead.
“Takeaways to be encouraged instead of dine-In. Keeping the overall health of public in mind, we have taken this decision,” Chaudhary explained. “Maintaining hygiene and safety is the top priority”.
Similarly, Police Commissioner Sudhanshu Sarangi has advised the representatives of several market associations to be innovative and come up with new idea on how business activity can be continued with strict adherence of COVID-19 guidelines by customers. “Market association representative can think of several ways such as restructuring of markets or creating a holding area or waiting zone in front of a big store or outlet to regulate the crowd during this pandemic to control the spread of infection among public,” Sarangi advised.
This apart, the civic body has also urged the market association representatives to break away from traditional way of managing markets, crowd and adopt some innovative and best practices in terms of handling customers, maintaining hygiene inside the markets, which can set examples and become a model for others.