Manipur's iconic all-women market to reopen after 5 months

© Provided by Hindustan Times Each vendor may be given an opportunity to sell her goods twice a week on a rotational basis. (HT Photo)

Manipur’s iconic women market, popularly known as Nupi Keithel, along with the temporary market in the heart of the state capital, will be allowed to open after closing for almost five months, subject to the preparation of schedule for vendors, according to official people familiar with the matter.

State chief secretary Dr Rajesh Kumar, who is the chairman of the state executive committee of the state disaster management authority, issued a revised order in this regard on Tuesday.

As per the order, Imphal Municipal Corporation (IMC) will divide the vendors into groups by following the stall numbers allocated to each vendor, the order said. The IMC will make the vendors sit as per arrangement for each elevated platform to ensure that they maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet between one another.

Informing that each vendor may be given an opportunity to sell her goods twice a week on a rotational basis, it added, “Sundays will be closed for cleaning and sanitation by IMC.”

On April 21, the Manipur government announced the immediate closure of the Nupi Keithel, one of Asia’s largest women-run markets, located in Imphal, barely two months after its reopening, because of the second wave of Covid-19 in the state.

According to the people cited above, more than 3,500 license holding women vendors sit at three Nupi Keithel market buildings in Imphal. The unique feature of this centuries-old market is that all business activities are done by women.

In January this year, an independent researcher in Imphal claimed that the shutting down of Nupi Keithel might have caused a minimum loss of 3,879 crore to vendors in the last 10 months.

Meanwhile, the duration of the night curfew imposed in the state has been shortened, as per the government order. The night curfew, which was earlier imposed across the state from 7 pm to 4 am, will be imposed from 8.30 pm to 4 am for fifteen more days till October 21.

According to the order, restaurants and cafes are allowed to open from 10 am to 8 pm subject to ensuring Covid appropriate behaviour. Banks, insurance offices and postal offices may function normally without the shortened working hours stipulated earlier, it said. All passengers, drivers and helpers should wear masks while police and district administration should ensure that the capacity limit is complied with. Social gatherings and feasts are still not permitted.

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