By Ajit K Jha
New Delhi [India], Aug 25 (ANI): Weekly markets in the national capital that have been shut since last week of March due to coronavirus induced lockdown reopened on Monday after Delhi government allowed it till August 30, on a trial basis.
One such weekly market--Gandhi Nagar Market-- was re-opened in East Delhi after Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had on Friday allowed weekly markets to open on a trial basis from August 24-30. Weekly markets in the city were closed since March 25 due to coronavirus pandemic.
DDMA has also directed authorities to ensure strict implementation of COVID-19 measures, including social distancing.
While customers and shopkeepers told ANI that they are happy with the government's decision but government official considers it a tough task to ensure social distancing in the market.
Lakhi, a street shopkeeper who used to sell garments said, "I was sitting idle at home for the last six months. I am happy that the government has allowed this market to run. I want the government to help street shopkeepers and allow all weekly market to run. I used to earn Rs 10000 profit and now it is becoming difficult to make the ends meet."
Mohammad Abbas, another shopkeeper said, "I opened my shop here after lockdown. I think it will help me in getting bread and butter for my family. I am selling the products at the same rate as I used to sell before lockdown. We are maintaining social distancing and adhering to government guidelines regarding COVID-19."
Mahesh Kumar, a customer who came to purchase slippers from the market said, "Shops were closed earlier. There were no shops here selling the slippers. Today, I purchased a new pair of slippers after re-opening of the shops."
Deepak Upadhyay, Licensing Inspector for Coordination and Enforcement in East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) said that it is a tough task to ensure social distancing in the market.
"As a large number of people are visiting the market, it is becoming a tough task to ensure social distancing in the market. We have made circles outside the shops and we are also drawing circles on the road too to maintain social distancing. We have asked the shopkeepers to maintain social distancing and follow the health guidelines," said Upadhyay.
"Every Monday we will come and we will ensure the smooth functioning of the market. We want them to earn a livelihood," he added.
In Delhi, the active COVID-19 cases continue to remain between 10,000 and 12,000 during the past few weeks. The deaths per day due to COVID-19 have also decreased.
Delhi on Monday reported 1,061 new COVID-19 cases, 1,200 discharges/recoveries/migrated and 13 deaths. Total number of cases now at 1,62,527 including 1,46,588 recovered cases, 11,626 active cases and 4,313 deaths, said Delhi government in a bulletin. (ANI)
By Ajit K Jha