With the first night curfew of the year being imposed in the national capital, the shops at various places in New Delhi are being closed at 8 p.m. while the workers are fearing job loss.
Amid the Covid resurgence across the country, night curfew has been imposed in Delhi from April 6 till April 30 where everything will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Ramesh Sharma, manager of food outlet brand Haldiram, said: “On the first day of night curfew, I couldn’t leave my workplace on time. Delhi Police stopped me at Chandni Chowk and asked me to reach home on time from the next time.”
“We close our shop at 9 p.m. so that the staff reaches home on time. Till now, none of our staff has asked for early closure as they all reside nearby,” he added.
Sunil Dutt, manager of Snow White, a shop in Connaught Place, said: “90 workers work here and considering their convenience we are closing our shop by 8 p.m., however, the Delhi Metro should also close the entry by 9 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. so that people can reach their homes on time.”
A lot of people have sought permission from their employers to leave workplace by 7.30 p.m.
One of the workers said, “Earlier, I used to reach home in one hour but on Tuesday it took more than two hours due to traffic. Due to night curfew, the police stopped me at a couple of places. Charging it to experience, I asked my employer to allow me to leave by 7.30 p.m.”
The night curfew is also hampering the business of the restaurants and food outlets which are open till late night which is causing a fear of job loss among the workers.
Amit Kumar Dhingra, manager of Ware House cafe in Connaught Place, said, “Due to night curfew, we are closing our cafe by 9 p.m. Around 20 workers work here. We were in loss due to the pandemic while night curfew will add to it.”
“We are constantly talking to our workers as well as management. We have asked our employees to come on alternate days, however, the salary part is yet to be decided,” he said.
A worker who works at Ware House cafe said that some of the employees have been asked to go on leave while the manager did not confirm it.
Amit Gupta, executive member of New Delhi Traders Association, said: “Traders don’t have much power during the night curfew. If the shops have to be closed by 10 p.m. then they have to be closed. If the workers have to reach home by 10 p.m. then the shops have to be closed by 8 p.m.”
“Apart from night curfew, the government should take some measures during the day also to contain the pandemic spread,” he said.