Lockdown eased: Gurugram markets receive moderate footfall
Markets across the city witnessed moderate footfall on Monday, a day after the Haryana government eased the lockdown restrictions, allowing all shops to open instead of operating on an odd-even basis.
Yash Garg, the deputy commissioner of Gurugram, on Sunday, issued an order on extending the Mahamari Alert Surakshit Haryana till June 21, with relaxations issued for various categories. While shops were allowed to open from 9am to 8pm, the state government has allowed gymnasiums to reopen as part of the unlocking process, albeit with a 50% capacity, from 6am to 8pm. Parks were also opened from 5am till 8pm.
The Sadar market in old Gurugram witnessed moderate footfall on Monday, with the association members saying it will take a couple of months after lifting of restrictions for the situation to normalise.
Bablu Gupta, the president of Sadar market association, said, “Footfall remained low as a large percentage of industrial workers and other staff have left for their home towns due to Covid-19 infection and lockdown. It will take at least two months for the entire market to resume its normal functioning, even as the administration has eased the lockdown restriction, allowing shops to open from 9am to 8pm. Other factors like a limitation on weddings and social gatherings will also affect the overall turnout in marketplaces.”
Even shops at the Vyapar Kendra market witnessed a low turnout, according to the market association. “People were already coming to the market when shops were running on an odd-even basis. There has been no major change since then. There is still a fear among people due to Covid-19, therefore, the footfall has been low,” said Tej Singh, the president of Vyapar Kendra market association.
Harinder Rana, the president of Palam Vihar market association, held a similar view. “It is during the evening hours when footfall is high, but due to Covid-19, people are visiting the market to get items of basic needs.”
The footfall at shopping malls, however, increased in the last one week, according to mall associations. “Malls were permitted to open from May 31 onwards for a limited time duration of 10am to 3pm. Last week, the timeline was extended till 8pm. Since then, the turnout at the mall increased by almost 40% compared to the first week of June,” said Aman Bajaj, member, MGF Metropolitan Mall Association.
Likewise, gymnasiums that opened on Monday noticed a heavy footfall. Aakash Bhati, the owner of Foxx Gym in Sector 10, said, “More than 60 people reached the centre during morning hours. In the evening hours, however, there were not many people. It is likely more people will come to the gym in the next few days.”
Anand Maina, the owner of Zink fitness studio in Sector 28, said that they will reopen the facility only after complete sanitisation. “The gym will be operational from June 16 onwards, only after complete planning. Our customers will use the facility based on the appointments made by them a day before. It will help us in managing the crowd and maintaining social distancing norms.”
To ensure the enforcement of the lockdown curbs, police barricades were placed at the entry and exit gates of popular markets, to manage traffic movement and law and order.
Nitish Tripathi, 33, who stepped out of his Sector 56 residence almost after a month, said, “Covid-19 cases have declined but there is a fear of contracting the disease. Since it was important to take out my car for servicing along with buying other items of daily needs, I had to move out following all precautionary norms.”