Delhi markets stay open: Shopkeepers geared up to take precautions, shoppers support
Shopkeepers in Delhi are happy that they will be allowed to continue business, and a majority of Delhiites are not supporting lockdown of markets if safety precautions are in place.Updated: Nov 21, 2020, 13:59 IST
Due to the concern in rising cases of Covid-19 in Delhi, there were thoughts to shut the hotspot markets, to limit the crowds. But, in a recent statement released by Delhi Government, it has been decided that anyone found not wearing a mask in the market will be provided one, free of cost by the market associations. Shopkeepers have also been advised to keep handy, spare masks and hand sanitisers for shoppers.
Those shopkeepers who were worried about facing more losses if the lockdown is implemented, have heaved a sigh of relief. Amit Gupta, a wholesale shopkeepers in Old Delhi’s Sadar Bazaar, says, “During the festive season, 50% customers were seen in markets without masks in Old-Delhi, they were carrying masks but were too careless to wear them. I remember I told most of them to wear them and then enter in my shop and they all obliged. So, I feel asking shopkeepers to give masks is a good idea, kam se kam market shutdown to nahi hogi... We have dealt with huge losses already.”
Since the talk of markets getting shut down again has been in news, those in market associations have also been contemplating how to evade the situation, while making shopping a safe experience. Sanjeev Mehta, president, Khan Market Traders Association, says, “In Khan Market, we have hardly seen anyone without a mask, so making more masks available is indeed a good step. But in a complex such as Khan Market, it wouldn’t make much difference. However, we will provide extra masks and sanitisers to the shopkeepers as well as visitors.”
But since the cases of Covid-19 are increasing rapidly, shopaholics who love to frequent markets are divided on whether not shutting down markets is a good move at this point in time. Kriti Khurana, a college student pursuing CA, says, “If you see the number of cases as compared to the number of beds available for the treatment even in extreme cases, one would get to know the huge difference and the need to take precautionary measures as soon as possible. I don’t support any sort of lockdown. But what is needed is absolute willingness from every Delhiite to take precautions and follow guidelines without the fear of any penalty!”
“Yahan sab aaise ghum rahe hain jaise har medical shop pe vaccine available ho Covid-19 ki,” Akshit Taneja, a software engineer, adding, “Markets of hotspots should have been closed in the festive season, not now when the shopkeepers are trying to make their ends meet. And shopkeepers are offering to be alert and keep extra sanitisers, so what is needed is sincerity of shoppers to abide by the need of the hour and take all necessary precautions. Why even step out of the house without a mask, leave apart visiting a market?”
Author tweets @ruchikagarg271