Tight security ahead of the Republic Day on Tuesday did not deter people from visiting shopping malls and markets which saw regular footfall over the weekend. Thanks to huge discounts in malls and an extended weekend, people in the city bothered little about traffic restrictions or the biting cold that refuses to relent.
Select City Mall in Saket was visited by about 50-55 thousand people during the weekend which is similar to the average footfall on previous weekend. “It is sales time so everyone is shopping. There is no direct impact of security alert and footfall has remained unchanged,” said a spokesperson for Select City Mall, Saket.
Ahead of the Republic Day celebrations on Tuesday, the capital has been placed on ‘very high alert’. With central intelligence agencies sending numerous terror threat inputs, Delhi Police have fortified the city and are taking no chances this time. The traffic on the road has been chaotic due to restrictions in central Delhi which had an impact on the traffic flow in east and south Delhi on Saturday as well as on Monday.
The security alerts and traffic jams, however, could not dampen the spirit of shoppers or those simply looking for some fun time with family and friends. At Ambience Mall in Vasant Kunj, the crowd swelled as usual over the weekend as compared to the weekdays. “We haven’t observed any decrease in the number of people visiting us. On weekends we have over 55 thousand people visiting the mall. I think people have faith in the system which is why they are coming out without any fear,” said Vijay Aima, vice president (operations) Ambience Mall.“We have over 100 malls in the city. People are visiting them as usual. The alerts have not deterred people from visiting malls,” Sunil Jain, vice president of Unity Group, added.
However, in Gurgaon where roads had been blocked and sanitised a day before the Prime Minister’s visit on Monday, many residents said they stayed at home and cancelled their plans on the weekend. They said that after seeing the strict security arrangements and traffic diversions, they thought that the commercial complexes will be inaccessible. “I made plans of watching a movie in MGF mall but due to the traffic restrictions around MG road, I thought of cancelling them. There was not much clarity among the people about the ground situation due to Modi’s visit,” said Rohit Raheja, a resident.
Security arrangements and traffic restrictions will be in place till at least Tuesday afternoon when the parade gets over followed by VIP movement. The police have installed more than 1000 CCTV cameras and over 40,000 police and paramilitary personnel and have been posted in the city.