People throng markets ignoring social distancing & use of masks
Contrary to government instructions several people can be seen in the city without masks and violating social distancing rule, especially since all the shops and businesses have been allowed to open daily in the provisional state capital Dehradun and other places in the state. The city president of Udyog Vyapar Mandal Pankaj Masson stated that the opening of shops on alternate days is the best way to prevent crowding in the market. According to him, the Covid-19 positive cases are increasing every day and if the market will continue to remain crowded without any regulations, it would be tremendously difficult for the administration to curb the spread of the pandemic here.
Due to the relaxation provided by authorities during the lockdown, people have started to shop for different items that have evidently provided some relaxation to the shopkeepers, vendors and other businessmen. While some businesses are doing moderately well, some are still dwindling. According to the shopkeepers, women’s clothing section is doing well, but other shops like footwear stores, hardware stores, jewellery shops and cosmetic stores are facing a shortage of customers. The apathy of public to maintaining social distance and wearing of masks is also a matter of concern for the store owners and businessmen of Dehradun.
According to footwear store owner Sachin Lakhera, “In the last three days, we have sold only six pairs of footwear while earlier this number has never been less than 200 per day. Presently, several people visit the store and just look at the items but only a few make purchases. The business is definitely not doing great and we understand that people will not begin to shop for such things immediately but at least we are earning our livelihood. Hopefully, the business will pick up in the next few days.”
Clothing store owner Vishal Sharma said, “Though people are continuously visiting our clothing store, somehow they are expecting the clothes to be cheaper than before. Almost everyone asks us why the price of the clothes has not dropped when our shop is opening after months. I think people expect us to sell clothes cheaper because they think we are too desperate to sell our products. They should understand that we have also been equally affected by the pandemic.”
As per the store owners of the city, the number of people might be increasing every day but they are not buying much. According to them, most people just do window shopping which is the main cause of crowding in market areas. “Many people enter the shop at once and ask us to show the products. If we tell them to maintain social distancing and remain outside the shop, they either shout at us or just walk away. It is becoming difficult to make people follow the basic measures like social distancing and the use of masks to curb Covid-19 disease. If people will remain ignorant like this, we will have to face the condition like Italy or America,” said local businessman Udaypal Pandey.
Meanwhile, Masson informed that about one lakh businessmen including small and big traders are facing the financial effects of the pandemic. Therefore Dehradun Vyapar Mandal will soon send a proposal to state government to provide relief to local businessmen, added Masson.
Saturday, 23 May 2020 | PNS | Dehradun
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