Decision On Kashmir Unlock Shortly: Div Com

Srinagar: As the business fraternity in Kashmir upped the ante over the phased reopening of shops and commercial establishments citing heavy losses, the Jammu and Kashmir administration said on Friday that the decision to ease lockdown will be taken shortly.

“The government is working to unlock Kashmir and the decision regarding the same will be taken shortly,” Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, P K Pole told Kashmir Observer on Friday.

He said that the competent authority will assess the situation and take a call on phased unlocking, including days of relaxation and the activities to be allowed.

He further said that the admin is already giving relaxation in those areas where less COVID-19 cases are detected.

Pole’s comments come a day after a trader’s body in Kashmir appealed to the administration to opt for unlocking claiming that the continued lockdown would leave many to starvation.

In a statement issued on Thursday, President Kashmir Retailers Association and General Secretary Joint Coordination Committee of City Center Traders (JCCCC) Farhan Kitab said the lockdown has badly affected the livelihood of people who along with their families are at the verge of starvation.

He said from traders to transporters, the business community is badly affected especially for the city centre shopkeepers.

The Valley is under a strict lockdown for a month following the second wave of deadly virus that has claimed 3795 lives. There are 41382 active positive cases—16142 in Jammu and 25240 in Kashmir.

Partial restrictions to contain the Covid were imposed on 27 April and a complete curfew was imposed in Kashmir on 29 April.

Last Saturday, the Jammu and Kashmir administration extended the curfew, which was supposed to end on May 23, by another week till May 31 in all 20 districts of the Union Territory amid no letup in the number of fresh coronavirus cases and deaths.

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Auqib Javeed

Auqib Javeed is special correspondent with Kashmir Observer and tweets @AuqibJaveed

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