Odishatv Bureau

Berhampur: The traders' union in the silk city today gheraoed the officials of the Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) for allegedly imposing hefty penalty citing violation of social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines.

Hundreds of traders led by Union president Subhasini Pattnaik staged an agitation at the premises of the BeMC office this morning protesting the enforcement drive and the subsequent penalising allegedly as per whims and fancies. Moreover, a few traders gheraoed BeMC enforcement squads at Bada Bazaar area and near Balunkeswar Temple of the city over the issue.

The Union has alleged that the squad is penalising them even when shopkeepers and customers are abiding by the rules and following proper usage of masks.

"Even though cases have declined, people should not deviate from the precautionary guidelines and protocols in place. We have penalised the shopkeepers and traders who we have listed as frequent violators, " said Ashutosh Samal, Deputy Commissioner of the BeMC.

The BeMC officials have requested all shopkeepers to follow Panchasutra guidelines, while clearly stating that penalty as per provisions will be levied for violations.

The BeMC is also carrying out a special 10-day-long campaign for checking oxygen level, temperature and screening of co-morbid patients in order to further contain the spread of COVID.

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