Ludhiana markets reopen on Sunday to low footfall

Published on Jun 28, 2021 01:14 AM IST

The usual hustle and bustle was conspicuously missing from Sunday special markets and wholesale markets in Chaura Bazaar, Akalgarh Market, and the AC Market; shopkeepers are expecting out-of-town customers to start visiting from the next weekend

Despite the administration cautioning residents against flouting Covid protocols to prevent a resurgence in cases, many people could be seen huddling together with face masks. (Harsimar Pal Singh/HT)
Despite the administration cautioning residents against flouting Covid protocols to prevent a resurgence in cases, many people could be seen huddling together with face masks. (Harsimar Pal Singh/HT)
ByHarsimran Singh Batra, Ludhiana

With markets opening on Sunday for the first time in two months, traders who had been stridently lobbying for the ‘Sunday lockdown’ to be lifted were disappointed as few customers showed up amid fear of infection, financial constraints and the hot weather.

The usual hustle and bustle was conspicuously missing from Sunday special markets and wholesale markets in Chaura Bazaar, Akalgarh Market, and the AC Market. Not just customers, vendors also refrained from setting up their stalls.

However, shopkeepers are hoping that business will rev up by the next weekend. Chaura Bazar Lal Rangi Ram Street Shopkeepers’ Association president Gurinder Sood said, “Markets opening on Sunday is the first step towards normalcy. The footfall was around 10-15% and Sunday rush was nowhere to be seen. It seemed like any normal day. However, more customers will surely turn up over the next weekend. This week, customers were caught unaware as relaxations were announced suddenly on Saturday evening.”

Shopkeepers are expecting out-of-town customers to start visiting from the next weekend. Akalgarh Market Garment Association president Manpreet Singh Bunty said, “Customers from other towns, districts and states visit the wholesale markets of the city exclusively on Sunday. Though low footfall was seen this time, at least 20% of the business lost due to the lockdown was restored.”

Beopar Mandal general secretary Sunil Mehra and district president Arvinder Makkar, while hailing the government’s latest orders have demanded a relief package for businesses that have taken a hit during lockdown. they have sought for some relief in electricity bills and property tax .

Social distancing, masks ditched

Despite the administration cautioning residents against flouting Covid protocols to prevent a resurgence in cases, many people could be seen huddling together with face masks. Traders, however, have appealed people to follow the rules to prevent another Covid-induced lockdown.

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