People converged at the Buddh Bazar in Lucknow on Wednesday. Most of them were not wearing masks. (Deepak Gupta/HT photo)
People converged at the Buddh Bazar in Lucknow on Wednesday. Most of them were not wearing masks. (Deepak Gupta/HT photo)

Covid norms drown insea of humanity at Lko’s Buddh Bazar

LUCKNOW Covid protocols went for a toss on the Gole Market-Badshahnagar stretch in Mahanagar, as thousands of people thronged the Buddh Bazar (a weekly market) to make purchases ahead of the festive season
UPDATED ON MAR 24, 2021 11:26 PM IST

LUCKNOW Covid protocols went for a toss on the Gole Market-Badshahnagar stretch in Mahanagar, as thousands of people thronged the Buddh Bazar (a weekly market) to make purchases ahead of the festive season.

Spread across the 600-metres stretch, the weekly market comes up on Wednesdays.

Shoppers seemed least bothered about wearing masks or maintaining physical distancing, revealed a spot check by HT to assess the anti-Covid measures and the awareness level among people in the market. The market has more than 1,600 shops and witnesses an average footfall of around 28,000 people (as per records of Saptahik Bazaar Dukandaar Kalyan Samiti).

Locals said cops were deployed in the market, but they remained mute spectators to the violation of Covid norms. The Saptahik Bazaar Dukandaar Kalyan Samiti — the body that works for the welfare of street vendors though made arrangements for announcements of anti-Covid measures, but these fell on deaf ears.

Besides shoppers, who largely behaved irresponsibly, traders were found to be a bit more aware as most of them were wearing masks.

“We are making masses aware of anti-Covid measures and have also issued strict directives for traders to wear masks and to use sanitisers,” said Mohammed Nadeem Siddiqui, president, Saptahik Bazaar Dukandaar Kalyan Samiti.

In March 2020, the district administration had ordered closure of the Buddh Bazar in order to contain the virus. “In December 2020, the market was reopened after eight months,” said Siddiqui. He, however, said that further closure of the market would leave traders hand to mouth.

The traders were taking all precautionary measures and spreading awareness among people,” he added.

Officials of the LMC — the body that regulates the weekly markets – said things were under control.

Dr SK Rawat, nagar swasthya adhikari, said: “Traders are taking all precautionary measures to keep the infection at bay. We are continuously sanitising the Buddh Bazar, before and after the market is set up. We are also running awareness drives to make shopkeepers aware of Covid protocols,” he said.

Apart from Buddh Bazar, the city has four prime weekly markets. Of these, Bara Birwa area of Alambagh sees the weekly market on Tuesdays, Aminabad on Thursday, Sarojini Naidu Marg in Sadar on Saturday and Nakkhas on Sundays. As per records with the Saptahik Bazaar Dukandaar Kalyan Samiti, more than 1,800 traders were associated with weekly markets in the city.

Locals said that the LMC and the district administration were yet to give a thought that such gatherings could further trigger the virus outbreak.

IN NUMBERS

•Buddh Bazar, spread across the 600 m stretch, was found chock-a-block with the shoppers in Covid times.

•On an average, the market witnesses a footfall of around 28,000 people (as per the records of Saptahik Bazaar Dukandaar Kalyan Samiti).

•The market has more than 1600 shops.

•The city has four more prime weekly markets. Of these, Bara Birwa area of Alambagh sees the establishment of weekly market on Tuesdays, Aminabad on Thursday, Sarojini Naidu Narg in Sadar on Saturday and Nakkhas on Sundays.

EXPERT-SPEAK

Dr PK Gupta, pathologist and former president of IMA Lucknow who says that such gatherings could make the Covid situation worse. He said the virus still exists and any violation of Covid protocols could prove fatal. The administration should impose restrictions on such large gatherings.

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