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April 2, 2020

Lockdown tightened in Lahore: Order for closing shops at 5pm leads to rush of buyers at stores

National

April 2, 2020

LAHORE: As the Punjab government tightened the lockdown in the provincial metropolis, the city witnessed rush of people at grocery stores, meat shops and other edibles.

On Wednesday, the city administration, police and news channels informed the citizens that all stores, meat shops and milk shops will be closed at 5pm. As per the previous order the exempted services from lockdown included utility companies such as Wasa, municipalities, Wapda, NTDC, DISCOs and SNGPL, public and private telecom/cellular companies and their franchises with limited public dealing, call centres with no public dealing, banks (only essential staff) with limited public dealing, defence related manufacturing industries, food items manufacturing industries and distribution offices, health & related services i.e. hospitals, medical stores, laboratories, manufacturers, grocery stores, general and convenience stores, fish, meat, vegetable / fruit vendors and dairy shops, dry port operations, custom services, petrol pumps and auto-workshops, fruit, vegetable, cattle and grain markets (Mandi), welfare organisations Edhi & Seylani providing essential services, media persons authorised by media houses concerned, newspaper hawkers and any other class as may be deemed essential and so declared by the government.

However, as per the new order, all the exempted services excluding medical stores, atta chakki, fruit and vegetable shops, petrol pumps, LPG shops, Tandoors and takeaway/home delivery services from restaurants, will be closed down at 5pm and then will open at 9 am on Thursday till 5.00 pm. This timing will remain implemented till April 7.

Following these orders, the milk shop owners expressed serious resentment as they claimed that a large quantity of fresh milk reach the shops in evening and in case they shut their shops at 5pm they will face a loss of millions of rupees.

Punjab Milk Sellers and Suppliers Association also wrote a letter to the CM requesting him to increase the timing of milk shops till 8pm. “Decrease in timing of Kiryana, grocery stores and super markets is against the basic concept of social-distancing as it attracted more number of people to come out at a same time,” said a member of a big super store situated at Thokar. He said rush of people was witnessed due to this decrease in timing.

Another member of a store in Model Town said on 4.30 pm on Wednesday local police reach the store and directed the management to close the store operations till 5pm. He said after that the police started beating those who were coming out of the store, especially on motorbikes.

Similar situations were witnessed in various city localities where people rushed to stores for purchasing. Witnesses said extreme rush was witnessed at super marts in Wapda Town, Johar Town, Faisal Town, Garden Town, Muslim Town, Allama Iqbal Town, Sabzazar, DHA, Cantonment and other private societies.