Unlock Pune:Shops open at Tulsibaug, but no customers
The market first opened on June 1 under the odd-even rule, but since has gradually resumed operations in full.Updated: Sep 08, 2020 16:44 IST
Starting with the “new normal” guidelines, all market places in the city have resumed backed operations.
One of the oldest, and a bell-whether for small business operations in the city - Tulshibaug market – has 800 shop owners and registered hawkers lining Bajirao road, in the heart of the city.
The market first opened on June 1 under the odd-even rule, but since has gradually resumed operations in full.
Haribhau Kavare, owner of Kavare ice-creams, a landmark for shoppers visiting the area, said, “Traders, shop-owners and hawkers in the market are still suffering due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Business has dropped drastically, for us it has almost gone down by 90 per cent. Earlier, daily we used to earn between Rs 8,000 and Rs 10,000. Now it is Rs 1,000. We had 10 workers at our shop, but as there are no customers, we only have two.”
Jewellery, cosmetics, clothes, children’s wear and household items are the Tulshibaug staples. The market is closed on Monday.
Jewellery shop owner, Jeetendra Ambasankar, said, “Since the market has opened, there are no customers, as such. We only allow one person in the shop at a time to maintain social distancing. We are focusing on the online trading option, as we have our customer data and send them our items on WhatsApp. We do delivery as well. There is hardly 25 per cent of business happening, as compared to before the lockdown.”
Pravin Patil, owner of a women’s clothes shop, said, “Tulshibaug is famous for a variety of products available at a cheap rate. So people, especially women, used to come from far here for shopping. All this has stopped now. Only people from the area come for shopping and that too, for basic items. The market is open, but the business has not grown. There are very few customers, even on weekends.”
HT visited the market on a Sunday and Patil’s testimony to “not much crowd”, bears witness.
The once-was-no-space-to-walk era in Tulshibaug seems long gone .
Dhanashree Khole, 30, a resident of Sadashiv peth, out on a Sunday, said, “I have never seen Tulshibaug market so empty. It is all due to Covid-19. Even we were afraid to come to the market, but as we had to purchase clothes for my son I had to visit the market, taking all the safety precautions.”
Another shopper, Jeetendra Bhagwat, aged 42 came in from Swargate. He said, “As we get many varieties of household products and that too, at an affordable price, I always prefer to come to Tulshibaug for shopping.”
Both the shoppers wore face masks and were ensuring a social distance while in the market.
Tulshibaug market – Covid rules
300 shop owners, 300 registered hawkers claimed to have suffered a loss of Rs 40 crore during lockdown from April to June
Five entrances to the market: from Bajirao road, Laxmi road and from the Mahatma Phule mandai
No entry to customers not wearing face masks
All shop owners and workers wear face masks
Each shop owner has sanitisers, thermal checking
A few shops also have oximeters
What HT saw…
HT visited Tulshibaug on Sunday afternoon from 12 noon till 2 pm. Public coming to the market, shop owners and workers, were all wearing face masks; some of them also sported gloves. While talking to customers workers kept a proper social distance and in most of the shops, customers were allowed to enter only one at a time. In some shops, thermal checking of customers was undertaken before they entered. Overall, social distance was maintained and safety precautionary measures were in place.