Double trouble for printing press with Covid, polls – The New Indian Express

Through Express press service

JAGATSINGHPUR: The restrictions on the use of banners, posters and hoardings in public places by the district administration, in view of the model code of conduct and Covid guidelines of the State Election Commission (SEC) and of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), dealt a heavy blow to the printing and related businesses in Jagatsinghpur.

With the panchayat elections just days away, press owners, photostating and graphic design shops, paper makers, transport operators and workers engaged in hanging banners are out of business due to pandemic curbs.

Collector Parul Patwari, in line with SEC and SRC guidelines, ordered BDOs, district and block education officials to remove banners, billboards and posters in public places due to the implementation of the model code of conduct.

Similarly, rallies and political campaigns using banners are also restricted. This has had a huge impact on the printing business as orders are hard to come by.

Print shop owner Rabindra Naik said he printed posters for political events but Covid restrictions for the election affected his business. “I have been without an order since last week. In the last two months orders have dropped,” he sighed.

Khirod Baisakha, owner of Subhashree Flex Printing in Rahama had a similar story to share. “We are facing a double whammy due to the model code of conduct and Covid restrictions, both in effect. Previously, we used to print banners for independent candidates and party candidates, but no one has shown up so far,” he said.

Baisakha said he generated close to Rs 20 to Rs 25 lakh by printing about seven lakh banners in the last panchayat election, but this time there is no hope.

According to sources, there are more than 15 flexible printing presses and 45 in the district and traders in Jagatsinghpur, Paradip, Kujang, Rahama, Raghunathpur, Balikuda, Naugaon, Tirtol and other areas have been particularly affected. Shopkeepers and workers are also in shock.

A worker Ratanakar Rout, who pays bills for a living, said that for each poster he received 20-50 rupees and hoped to generate at least 10,000 rupees in a month, but it looks grim now.

When contacted, Erasama Bloc Education Officer (BEO), Bijay Senapati, said school teachers were also ordered by the administration to remove banners and posters from premises during the elections. Severe measures will be taken in the event of non-compliance, he added.

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