Shutdown begins in Imphal

Imphal, March 2 (IANS) An indefinite shutdown in Manipur’s capital city began on Wednesday with all shops, commercial establishments pulling down the shutters to protest against a government order banning parking of vehicles within city areas.

There was, however, no obstruction to traffic and pedestrians.

The shutdown, in protest against the government order banning parking inside the city areas, was implemented by shop owners who are incensed by the ‘cavalier attitude’ of the government which did not reply to their ultimatum against the “arbitrary order”.

Recently, the government took a decision on the basis of a cabinet resolution not to allow parking along the Paona and Thangal markets which form the main components of the city to ease traffic.

The Imphal Municipal Corporation had issued permits to the parking agencies in these markets.

Referring to the ban, Sapam Dilip, a shop keeper told IANS that all these days, he has not sold anything as no customer comes after the parking ban came into effect.

Roshan Maisnam, a member of the Committee on Bazar Business Communities said: “The shop keepers had submitted a memorandum on February 27 to Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh to reconsider the order since business has been brought to a grinding halt in the city.

“We suggested a joint meeting and an ultimatum was set on March 1. However there has been no positive response from the government. So we decided to go ahead with the closure of the shops,” Maisnam said.

A traffic constable said: “In addition to the customers, the shop owners, officegoers and others whose offices are located inside the city park their vehicles along the streets for long hours. In case of fire and other emergencies, there will be a problem.”

As two marketing complexes were damaged during the January 4 earthquake, temporary market complexes are being constructed, resulting in encroachment of the normal parking areas of taxis and autorickshaws.

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