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LAHORE: The Lahore district administration has mobilised its teams to implement the government’s order for closure of markets at 9 pm which has come into effect on Monday, and those who violate the government orders will face punishment.

As a part of the energy conservation plan, the Punjab government decided to close markets at night to save electricity and subsequently minimise the hours of load-shedding. The administration has divided the provincial capital into 18 clusters and an enforcement team in each cluster has been given the task to implement the notified timings of market closures.

In case of any violation, penal action will be taken under relevant provisions of the Punjab Shops and Establishments Ordinance 1969. The assistant commissioners of the concerned tehsils will lead the enforcement teams comprising revenue, labour and MCL officers, and ensure implementation of closure timings within all commercial markets of their respective tehsils, even if they have not been mentioned in this notification.

In case of a first violation, a warning will be given along with counseling through a trade union; in case of a second violation, the shop/business will be sealed for 24 hours; and in case of a third violation, the shop/business will be sealed for three days along with prosecution by the Labour department in Court.

The enforcement teams were asked to hold meetings with the concerned trade unions immediately and encourage them to close the markets voluntarily at notified times while keeping close liaison and coordination with them for market closure in a smooth manner. For public and traders’ awareness, the teams will ensure the display of banners/pan flexes in assigned markets at prominent places showing notified closure timings of various categories of businesses.

As many as 18 clusters were formed in five tehsils: three clusters formed in Tehsil Raiwind, which will cover markets in Manga Mandi, Raiwind, Bahria Town, Chohang Bazar, Araiyan, Sundar Multan Road.

Tehsil Shalimar was also divided into three clusters that would include the following markets: Mughalpura, Mughalpura Link Road, Sikh Bazaar, Ghaziabad Bazaar, Naqshbandi Bazaar, Faisal Park Jallu Mor, Karol Bazaar, Shalimar Link Road, Ramgarh Bazaar and Main GT Road.

Moreover, Tehsil Cantonment was divided into three clusters, which will cover the following markets: PAF, RA Bazaar, DHA Y Block Phase 5, Cavalry Ground, Walton Road, Mall of Lahore, Garja Chowk, Lalak Jan Road, Ladhar Bedian Road, Burki Road, DHA Phase 6, Bhatta Chowk and Avenue. There will be four clusters in Tehsil City that will cover Anarkali Bazaar, Mall Road, Panorama, Baden Road, Hall Road, Shah Alam Market, Azam Market, Abid Market, Main Mozang Bazaar, Samanabad Market, Islampura, Orphanage, Furniture Market, Band Road, Karim Park and Malik Park.

Tehsil Model Town was divided into four clusters as well and the following markets will fall in these clusters: Liberty Market, Barkat Market, Main Market, Ghalib Market, Origa Center, Hafeez Center, MM Alam Road, Noor Jahan Road, Mahmood Kasuri Road, Jail Road, Shadman Market, Ferozepur Road, Ichhra, Karim Block Market, Moon Market, Tyre Market, Firdous Market, Township, Kahna Naw Bazaar, Nishtar Colony, Youhanabad and College Road.

In this connection, District Commissioner Lahore Omar Sher Chatha said that the government’s order for closure of markets at 9 pm will be strictly followed; “initially, the traders will be issued warnings for not closing shops are notified time, but if they continuously refuse to do so that their shops will be sealed for three days and their case will be referred to a court”.

According to him, wholesale and retail shops, bakeries, general stores, warehouses, shopping malls, private offices and warehouses would be closed at 9 pm while wedding halls will remain open till 10 pm. Moreover, hotels, takeaways, tandoors, clubs, theatres, cinemas, cafes and entertainment venues will be closed at 11:30 pm. However, there will be no time restriction on Saturdays while medical stores, pharmacies, hospitals, laboratories, petrol pumps, CNG stations, tyre repair shops, motorway service areas and shops on highways would be exempted.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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