After nearly 2 months, markets off to a sedate start in Lucknow
Markets in Alambagh, Krishna Nagar, Kanpur Road, Indira Nagar and other areas also reopened on ‘alternate day’ basis. Shops on one side of the road were allowed to open while those on the other side remained closed.Updated: May 21, 2020 21:23 IST
The plush Hazratganj market resumed operations on Thursday, with some shops open and some closed. Around 55 shops located on one side of the road (on DRM’s office side) were allowed to function as per the guidelines of lockdown 4.0.
Markets in Alambagh, Krishna Nagar, Kanpur Road, Indira Nagar and other areas also reopened on ‘alternate day’ basis. According to the arrangement, shops on one side of the market will open one day and the ones on the other side of the road will open the other day.
Despite the permission to open, not many traders turned up at Hazratganj market to resume business. Some said the losses were unbearable, while others said they were left with no staff as all workers had moved to their hometowns when the lockdown was announced on March 24.
A few shop owners, who couldn’t withstand the losses due to lockdown, initiated permanent closure of their establishments, said a few traders.
Sooraj Prakash Kakkar, owner of the 81-year-old British Book Depot, said: “We are reopening after almost two months. Our book depot was established by my father, late Shanti Prakash Kakkar, in 1936 and I am taking care of it since the late 1940s. It’s the first time when this market has seen such a long closure,” said Kakkar, who is in his late seventies.
Kakkar said book trade was already in its last leg, and the lockdown had worsened the situation. He said two shops next to his book depot were closed down by the owners due to heavy losses.
However, the Hazratganj Traders’ Association said none of the traders had approached them so far, expressing helplessness in running the shops due to losses.
“All have suffered losses during lockdown. But so far, no one has approached us expressing inability to run the shop. If that is the case, the trader should approach us. The association is ready to give financial support to such traders. All help will be interest free,” said Kishin Chand Bhambwani, president of Hazratganj Traders’ Association (HTA).
Garments, confectionary, sweet shops and other outlets remained open during the day.
However, shop owners said there were hardly any buyers as people were not ready to visit the markets yet.
“Many shops have reopened after two months and most of the traders are cleaning up their establishments and setting things in order. The customers are missing from the market,” said Nirmal Singh of Nirmal Stationers at LDA Colony, Kanpur road.
He added, “We have made arrangements for social distancing. Customers will remain behind the rope, which has been tied near the counter, to avoid direct touch.”
“We will allow only two customers at a time, while others can stand outside on the marked circles to ensure social distancing. Only a few customers have come to the shop,” said Harjeet Singh, another shopkeeper in Alambagh.
He said traders were following the district administration’s guidelines for lockdown 4.0.
“As per the new format of lockdown 4.0, it has been decided that all shops, except those in containment and buffer zones, will open on alternate day basis. On the seventh day, shops will remain closed for the weekly sanitisation exercise,” said Abhishek Prakash, district magistrate, Lucknow.
The administration had also issued dos and don’ts for shop owners. They have been asked to maintain a register, thermal scanner, keep sanitiser/gloves, make provisions for social distancing and not to entertain customers without masks.
Shops closed in containment/buffer zones
Aminabad market and nearby markets; Latouche road; Nazirabad, BN Road (Qaiserbagh crossing to Bapu Bhawan)
Cantonment road (from Burlington crossing to Qaiserbagh crossing),
Qaiserbagh crossing to Qaiserbagh bus stand;
Moulviganj crossing to Raqabganj crossing;
Hewett Road; Lalbagh and nearby markets; Jai Hind Market;
Tulsidas Marg (Victoria street) to Haiderganj crossing; Nadan Mahal road;
Charak Chauraha to Medical College; Nakkhas Market;
Sadar Bazar Cantt