ACCI & AACWA seek discontinuation of lockdown

ACCI claims lack of coordination between police and DA

ITANAGAR, Aug 1: The Arunachal Chamber of Commerce & Industries (ACCI) and the All Arunachal Contractor’s Welfare Association (AACWA) have appealed to the state government to discontinue any further extension of the lockdown in the Itanagar capital region (ICR) and in the state, with exceptions for containment zones.

In a letter addressed to the chief secretary, the ACCI said that the lockdown in the country and the subsequent lockdown in the ICR have hit hard the entire business community, especially the daily wagers, petty traders and roadside vendors, and the hospitality and food sectors.

“During the long span of the lockdown, several businesses have either collapsed or are the verge of it,” it said, adding: “With no support from the government, the business community is struggling on a daily basis.”

The ACCI suggested continuing with tests and closures on weekends in suspected areas, and introducing an “acceptable opening and closing time for shops (preferably from 9 am to 5 pm).”

To discourage crowding, both organizations suggested introducing odd and even system of movement for all two- and four-wheelers and heavy vehicles.

Additionally, the AACWA suggested introducing odd and even numbers for autorickshaws and Tempos, as well, besides “left and right system for opening of shops from 9 am to 5 pm.”

Meanwhile, the ACCI claimed harassment of the business community and “complete lack of coordination between police and civil administration.”

It said that despite the permission to allow passage of all incoming essentials and non-essential commodities, “supplies are being held up at the Banderdewa check gate for want of permission letters.”

“Even after release (of few days), the incoming supplies have to face the same hurdles in all the subsequent police nakas,” it said.

The ACCI also claimed that the “vehicle carrying water for the hotel in Naharlagun where all the frontline warriors were stationed was halted and taken to the police station for lack of permit.”

In another incident, it said, “Trucks carrying essential commodities for a stockist at Naharlagun was kept in Banderdewa for a few days and on release was again stopped at Nirjuli and then at Naharlagun police naka (near Model Village).”

“Truckers are confirming to all the laid down mandatory test and SOPs. How do you expect us to cater to the consumers’ demands if the supply logistics are not ensured? It exposes an unfortunate lack of coordination between the district administration and police department at the ground level,” the ACCI said, and asked the state government to immediately issue directives to the departments concerned.

Given the recent spike in the number of Covid-19 positive cases in the state and concerns regarding “unconfirmed incidents of mismanagement in the QCs, especially those related to poor quality food,” the ACCI suggested adopting the home quarantine model for Covid-19 positive patients who do not require immediate medical attention, “especially those who are asymptomatic and between the ages of 10 to 60 years.”

It also appealed to the state government to allow the return of the staffers of the business establishments, “following all procedures of quarantine.”

The ACCI also urged the government to issue directives for automatic renewal of trading licence, food licence, pollution certificate, factory licence, bar licence, etc, “which was assured to be automatically renewed but is yet to be implemented by the government.”

Meanwhile, the AACWA sought a time extension for antigen tests at the police check points from 6 pm to 9 pm, explaining that “returnees who come via air service from other parts of the state are unable to reach the Banderdewa police check gate by 6 pm as the taxi services reach the gate at around 8 or 9 pm.”

Seeking strict vigilance on those who do not observe the SOPs, it suggested that the state government launch a WhatsApp number for individuals to lodge complaints against those who are found not wearing a mask in public places.

Urging the state government to look into the measures suggested by it, the association said it would otherwise be “forced to look for democratic alternatives.”