New Delhi: National Delhi Traders Association (NDTA) has requested Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to lift the lockdown and open markets in a phased manner ‘with strict enforcement of laws’. On May 9, CM Kejriwal had announced an extension in the lockdown by a week. The total shutdown in the national capital was supposed to end on Monday (May 10), 5 am, but the restrictions will now remain in force till May 17. Speaking to PTI,  National Delhi Traders Association (NDTA) president Atul Bhargava said that nobody was in favour of the lockdown since the beginning. “But they had no option since the coronavirus cases in Delhi were rising. However, now we are of the opinion that the government instead of extending lockdown should open the markets in a phased manner with strict enforcement of laws and proper sanitisation”, he added. Also Read - Delhi Unlock 3.0: Gyms And Weekly Markets May Open From Monday. Kejriwal Expected to Take Final Call Tomorrow

Furthermore, Bhargava asserted that the traders, who have stood with the nation in “all difficult times”, are now in dire need of support from the government and claimed that the “umpteen letters” written to the powers that be for help have fallen on deaf ears. “No relief has been given to traders in any form till date. We have to pay our EMI, salary, rents, payments, property tax, loan repayments, GST on time without any support from the government. More and more traders are finding it difficult to survive. I have written at least 150 letters to people in positing power requesting them to help the traders community, but have failed to receive a single reply so far,” PTI quoted him as saying. Also Read - Karnataka Lockdown Update: More Relaxations Announced in Bengaluru. Read Revised Guidelines Here

Contrary to NDTA chief, Dr. Balram Bhargava, head of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has suggested that lockdown should not be lifted from districts where the rate of infection is above 10% of those tested. At present, major cities like New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru have test-positivity rate above 10%.  “If Delhi is opened tomorrow, it will be a disaster”, a portal quoted Bhargava as saying. Also Read - Delhi Unlock 3: More Relaxations on Cards? CM Arvind Kejriwal Likely to Take Final Call Tomorrow | Highlights