Confusion persisted in Jammu markets on Thursday amid resentment among the traders with regard to staggered schedules announced by the government to contain the upsurge in COVID-19 cases.
Meanwhile, the Warehouse and Kanak Mandi traders announced to observe voluntary weekend lockdown from April 24.
The Police personnel deployed in large numbers enforced the closure of shops violating the schedule announced by the government in consonance with its order that "only 50 percent shops should remain open on alternate basis on a rotation system".
Though the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) and the presidents and representatives of other trader bodies participated in the meeting convened by the Divisional Commissioner Jammu on Wednesday, they continued to grumble over rosters announced by the government.
"This is going to over-crowd the markets. Staggered schedule to enforce 50 percent opening of shops is also causing inconvenience to the people during the ongoing marriage season," JCCI President Arun Gupta told Greater Kashmir.
The Traders Federation Warehouse Nehru Market (TFWHNM) Jammu and Kanak Mandi Traders Association jointly decided to observe voluntary weekend lockdown from April 24 for a month.
The decision was taken in a meeting at the federation's office at Warehouse chaired by its president Deepak Gupta.
It was unanimously decided that to help the administration control the deadly pandemic, all shops in Warehouse Nehru Market and adjoining markets would observe weekend lockdown from coming Saturday for next four weeks.
It was decided that all shops would remain closed every Saturday and Sunday during this period.
While in Kanak Mandi, only shops dealing with the essential commodities would remain closed on Saturday and Sunday, other shops will open as per the government guidelines.
Addressing the meeting, Deepak Gupta said, "A day after Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha appealed the market associations to voluntarily stagger schedules to reduce crowds, Traders Federation Warehouse Nehru Market Jammu curtailed its working hours from 9 am to 6 pm."
He said that the government had ordered that only 50 percent shops should open on alternate basis through a rotation system.