Curfew, Internet Shutdown or 2G Internet Services are not new to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Natives in the Union Territory (UT) especially, Kashmir region have lived through this for years. But this time the lockdown imposed in the 11 districts of J&K is to contain the further spread of Covid-19 with an exemption to essential services for 84 hours which is effective from 7:00 pm on April 29, 2021 till 7:00 am on May 3, 2021. The lockdown is to break the chain of transmission and stop the intermingling of people to control the intense impact of the second wave of ‘Corona’ as people in some regions have not been following the norms strictly. Jammu and Srinagar being the Capital cities and among the busiest cities, have a frequent movement from various regions and, Srinagar is currently one of the most affected districts due to Covid.
The Lockdown in 11 districts means chaining the movement in urban cities. However, it will have its own impact on the businesses in the regions.
Let us know what are these districts and the impact in the following section:
Jammu Division – Jammu, Kathua, Reasi and Udhampur
Kashmir Division – Srinagar, Budgam, Anantnag, Baramulla, Ganderbal, Kulgam and Pulwama
Business Impact of lockdown in 11 districts
Some who may succeed in Lockdown
Under the Disaster Management Services, administration in each district issued a notification categorising the essential activities to be carried on as that shall be exempted in the lockdown. This means businesses that deal with the below listed activities shall have ‘business as usual.’
Supply of groceries (wholesalers and retailers) with specific time slot/schedule in some of the districts, fresh fruits and vegetables (mandies and retailers), domestic and commercial LPG and supply of cattle feed and fodder within specific time slots.
Loading and unloading of wheat and rice at FCI and state food depots, milk shops, dairies and related products.
Health services, medicines and other pharmaceuticals (retailers, wholesalers and manufacturing of health and medical equipment).
Telecom operators and their designated agencies, banks and ATMs, newspapers and post offices, dispensing of petrol/diesel at pumps, provision of electricity, water supply, municipal and sanitary services (including the movement of staff thereof).
Transportation of essential commodities through national and state highways (petrol, diesel, kerosene, milk, vegetables, fruits, groceries, FCI supplies etc.) but testing at borders may be required in interstate travels.
Some districts have laid down further detailed notifications including some other services as essential and permissible. For instance, e-commerce and home delivery of essential goods under the essential services shall be available in Jammu district and all industrial and scientific establishments will be permissible in Jammu and Baramulla district. Also, restaurants in hotels shall serve the in-house guests in some districts. To know more, you may go through the Covid-19 guidelines available on each of these district’s websites.
E-commerce and home delivery of essential goods under the essential services shall be available in Jammu district.
Some may have to find ways to succeed in Lockdown
Now, what about the businesses that deal with non-essential goods, commodities and services? Businesses like restaurants and bars, shopping complexes, bazaars, beauty and wellness centres like saloons, gyms, spas and cinema halls may not be at loss in 3 days of lockdown but, in the long run they will be affected if the rise in covid-19 cases continues extending the lockdown.
The lockdown started with these 11 districts. Like other states or UTs, all districts in J&K are not in lockdown yet because these 11 sectors are the urban locations and have surging cases every day. With latest updates coming in, the curfew is being extended to the remaining nine districts of J&K for the weekend but, what about the situation after that?
What’s in it for me?
Covid 2.0 definitely carries high intensity. The lockdown will break and make some businesses again. However, the businesses dealing with non- essential goods, commodities and services must start thinking if not yet about a much required ‘pivot’ in a business for survival.
As the e-commerce sector is booming across India and it is very much a part of delivery platforms for essential services, this may help the start-ups and other businesses who can adapt as per the changing times, to ‘survive’ in the ‘Crown’ state too.