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Lockdown: Markets rejoice as Jharkhand govt scraps Sunday curbs, end 8pm deadline

Ranchi: In a major respite to traders ahead of Diwali, Dhanteras and Chhath festivals, Jharkhand government on Friday ended weekend lockdown in the state allowing all kinds of market places to function even on Sunday like the pre-covid-19 days. The state government also removed time curbs from markets on normal days which mean all the commercial establishments can run beyond 8pm now.

State disaster management department minister Banna Gupta, who also holds health department portfolio, said that the decisions for further unlock has been taken after a meeting of the state disaster management authority (SDMA) headed by chief minister Hemant Soren on Friday.

Addressing a press conference at Project Building, he said, “With a view of help markets return to normalcy and allow people celebrate festivals, the government has decided to end weekend lockdown. Markets can open on Sundays too. This apart, the 8pm time curb for shops and commercial establishments which was in force until now is also gone.”

Gupta however cautioned people to not let their guards down in view of the relaxations citing that the threat of covid-19 pandemic is still not over. “Be it festivals or routine day to day life, whereas you go, please continue to follow covid appropriate behavior,” he appealed.

About Kali puja and Chhath, he said, “Whatever guidelines we had during Durga puja will be put to use for Kali puja organizers, and bhog can be home delivered. As far as Chhath is concerned, people can perform their rituals at rivers, and ponds. But we appeal people to keep festivities low-profile.”

A few other key decisions included nod to gathering of 500 people for marriages, stadiums can host spectators with 50 percent capacity, and coach centres can hold classes for even class 10 and above students.

Traders have welcomed the decision. A member of Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FJCCI), state’s apex trade body said, “It’s a welcome decision ahead of Dhanteras market. We are rejoiced.”