Srinagar, July 08: A delegation of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Thursday urged the district administration Srinagar to allow the reopening of restaurants with 50 percent capacity in the capital city.
A delegation of KCCI led by its General Secretary Farooq Amin held a detailed meeting with Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Mohammed Aijaz who is also Chairman of the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).
The delegation said restaurants continue to wear a deserted look and have been adversely impacted due to successive lockdowns.
President, Restaurant and Cafe Association of Kashmir (RAK), Sheikh Feroz also accompanied the delegation and apprised the “authorities of the plight of the people associated of the industry.”
“The sector employs thousands of people and is a source of livelihood for thousands of families,” the delegation said.
It urged authorities to allow the reopening of restaurants and assured that proper Covid-19 SOPs will be followed in order to contain the contagion.
Even though, following the easing of lockdown, the restaurants had started functioning in Kashmir, only take away and home delivery facilities are available as physical distancing guidelines are still in place.
As the administration has started lifting Covid-19 restrictions on various businesses across the Valley, restaurants across Kashmir, especially in Srinagar wear a deserted look.
“As the Covid-19 second wave has receded and the government has eased the lockdown, the delegation apprised the authorities of the plight of the people impacted due to closure of the restaurants as the industry supports the livelihood of thousands of people,” said KCCI spokesperson.
According to KCCI spokesperson, restaurants and cafe sector is facing a lot of difficulties due to the continuous lockdown.
The delegation requested DC Srinagar, Aijaz Ahmad, to allow 50 percent reopening of restaurants so that the industry is revived. "There is a culture of visiting restaurants in Kashmir rather than take away and home delivery. The new norms have been dictated by the pandemic,” the spokesperson said.
Also, as the pandemic has receded and the tourists are returning to the valley, they are also not able to explore and taste the Kashmiri cuisines served in these restaurants, he added.
He said the meeting was a follow up after assurances from Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, PK Pole who earlier had given a patient hearing to the delegation, he said.
According to KCCI spokesperson, DC Srinagar Aijaz Asad gave a patient hearing to the issues and acknowledged the difficulties being faced by the sector.
In order to alleviate the suffering and save the industry from collapse, the KCCI delegation urged Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, Chief Secretary, Arun Kumar Mehta and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and DC Srinagar to ease the restrictions and issue orders of reopening.
The delegation assured the authorities that Covid appropriate behaviour would be followed by the stakeholders.