Shops stay shut for the second day running, Medical stores remain open
PUNE: For the second consecutive day on Tuesday, life across almost the entire city and Pimpri Chinchwad was crippled as shops and business establishments observed a complete shut down against the implementation of Local Body Tax (LBT).
However, there was some relief as medical shops reopened on Tuesday after having joined the protesting traders on Monday.
“The customer remains our main concern and we will ensure that common people do not face any inconvenience. We have decided to ask medical stores and other emergency stores to remain open from Wednesday. Markets in the city will continue to remain closed,” said Popatlal Oswal, President of Federation of Trade Associations of Pune.
A large number of traders who had gathered near the Tilak statue at Mahatma Phule Mandai, marched to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) building. The procession, which had members of the Steel and Iron Association, Wholesale General Merchants Association, Laxmi Road Cloth and Readymade Association, gathered momentum as it passed through the City Post, Laxmi Road, Appa Balwant Chowk, Shaniwarwada and finally, reached the PMC building.
Oswal and various other trade union leaders addressed traders after submitting a memorandum to Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak. Oswal told the traders that Mayor Vaishali Bankar had extended her support to the traders. He also said Pathak has assured traders he would take up their concerns with the government.
“We have received the support of Mayor Vaishali Bankar but Pathak told us that he was bound by the law. He assured us that he would present our views to the government,” Oswal said. He said during his meeting with the traders, the municipal commisioner told the delegation that the onus with regard to withdrawal of LBT lies only with the State government.
Flag marches were also taken out by traders across the city on Tuesday. Traders from all parts of the city including Market Yard, Kothrud, Hadapsar, Fatima Nagar and Chinchwad had joined the protesting traders outside the PMC building. The Federation of Trade Associations, Pune has decided to organise a human chain at Alka Talkies on Wednesday. The Pune Vyapari Mahasangh will meet Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in Mumbai on Wednesday in connection with the traders' demands.