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Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: Sensing a near-normalcy in the COVID-19 hub, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) after reviewing the situation on April 28 came up with a few relaxations in the lockdown norms that were earlier in place.

Even though considerable relaxations have been made, the traders in the capital city seem to be hesitant to pull up their shop shutters for reasons aplenty.

Highlighting the problems, Chief of All Odisha Traders' Association, Sudhakar Panda said to OTV, "Traders are still confused over reopening their economic activities as the revised government decisions on relaxations and restrictions are not comprehensible for the common man. The officials are executing orders as per their whims and fancies, and as understood by them. And the fact that there are some cops who are making it tougher for the traders, cannot be overlooked."

This is not the case in Bhubaneswar alone as traders across most of the districts have reportedly been dealing with similar issues. "If any order is passed by the authorities, the summary, as we have seen on many occasions, fails to get into the heads of the traders. There should be sufficient public awareness. The State government should direct authorities to simplify the relaxation norms for traders to understand. In Bhubaneswar, the BMC should hold discussions with the traders' associations to clarify what shops can open and what is not allowed to operate," said Panda.

"We want clarity from the government on the restrictions. They should clarify what shops in which places are allowed to open. The BMC guidelines are confusing," said shopkeepers.

The BMC had relaxed the Covid-19 lockdown conditions for reopening of shops falling under the essential commodity list. However, market complexes, malls, salons, fast food stalls and tea and coffee shops will remain closed, it clearly mentioned.

Here's the official notification of BMC:

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