Dimapur intensifies crackdown on markets flouting COVID-19 guidelines

A joint team of district administration, DMC, DCCI and police personnel during a drive undertaken on October 17 at NL Road to check whether shops and business houses were following the COVID-19 guidelines. (Morung Photo)
A joint team of district administration, DMC, DCCI and police personnel during a drive undertaken on October 17 at NL Road to check whether shops and business houses were following the COVID-19 guidelines. (Morung Photo)

Morung Express News
Dimapur | October 17

The spike in COVID-19 cases in Dimapur has set alarm bells ringing even as the district administration has, since the past two months, been carrying out its drive to ensure compliance of COVID-19 guidelines, especially in shopping complexes and markets.

In the past one week, the district administration in coordination with the Dimapur Municipal Council (DMC), Police and Dimapur Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) intensified this drive, which covered all busy markets, bazaars and shops within DMC jurisdiction.  

On Friday, the district administration along with officials from DMC, DCCI, DBs and police personnel carried out another drive in the busy NL Road and MP Road.

Around 40 shopkeepers and sales persons who were found serving customers without wearing masks were penalized and made to pay fine of Rs. 100 each.

The joint team also reprimanded shoppers and public alike milling the streets and inside shops without wearing masks and handed out masks free of cost, to shoppers and public who did possess masks. 

DCCI vice president, V Shikuto Achumi, urged the shoppers and public without masks to act as “responsible citizens’ while reminding them of the rise in COVID-19 cases in Dimapur. 

Talking to The Morung Express, Achumi expressed apprehension that the “casual attitude” of the general public might lead to a “grim situation” in Dimapur, especially with the onset of the festive season and winter, where the Coronavirus is predicted to thrive and become more active.

A middle-aged couple, who witnessed a shopkeeper being penalized for not wearing a mask, lauded the district administration and remarked that such drives should be carried out regularly and more stringent penalties imposed.

“Even the shoppers and passersby, especially in crowded streets and markets, not wearing masks should be penalized,” another masked shopper insisted.

Earlier, the district administration had directed all shops and business establishments to ensure strict compliance of the COVID-19 guidelines including mandatory wearing of masks, social distance and keeping hand sanitizers outside every shop.

The administration had warned that shops and business houses repeatedly violating the directive would have their trade license cancelled.

Even the DCCI had issued repeated reminders to the business community to strictly adhere to the guidelines.

Meanwhile, sources said the district administration had planned to conduct such drives on a daily basis in areas within DMC jurisdiction. “But carrying out such exercises on a daily basis is not feasible due to shortage of manpower as administration officials, police personnel, DMC and DCCI officials have also other assignments to attend to,” the sources added.