Kochi

Shops in Kochi’s Broadway Market told to down shutters

Fire and Rescue Services personnel disinfecting Broadway market areas as part of a major cleaning drive to contain the COVID-19 spread.

Fire and Rescue Services personnel disinfecting Broadway market areas as part of a major cleaning drive to contain the COVID-19 spread.   | Photo Credit: H. Vibhu

All shops in Broadway Market, except those selling food and groceries had to down shutters on Monday following health concerns, considering that they are located very close to each other.

Many shops opened in the morning after over a month due to relaxations in Ernakulam district, which was declared as a green zone. “Soon afterwards, police vehicles went around announcing that shops which do not sell essential commodities must shut down in the wake of COVID-19 precautions,” said a trader in the market.

K Lalji, Ernakulam ACP,said that the police are awaiting clarification from the District Administration on whether shops in 'clusters' like Broadway Market too can be opened, since relaxations have been made only for standalone shops. “A meeting is scheduled later in the day. There are over 500 shops in Broadway, having a few thousand employees. Customers would add to crowding in the market and hence we decided on the move.”

On shops remaining open at nearby Menaka Junction, he said most of them sell mobile phones and spare parts. Shops there take turns in opening, with each shop opening only once in three days, as per a fixed schedule.

“This is not the case in Broadway, where many shops are located within the same building. Then there is congestion created by vendors who occupy footpaths. Here, it is pertinent to note that the national lockdown is still underway. Only that there are some relaxations in green zones,” Mr Lalji said.

In the meantine, it is learnt that action will be taken against traders who display spices and other food items well into the footpath, since they stand the risk of getting contaminated.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 4:26:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/shops-in-kochis-broadway-market-told-to-down-shutters/article31500156.ece

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