Shopkeepers jump the gun, resume business

Crowds gather at the Big Bazaar Street in Tiruchi on Monday.

Crowds gather at the Big Bazaar Street in Tiruchi on Monday.   | Photo Credit: M_Moorthy

Lockdown restrictions announced by the State are slated to come into effect only on Wednesday

Many commercial establishments and shops in the city resumed business on Monday although the relaxations in the lockdown restrictions announced by the State government are slated to come into effect only on Wednesday.

The opening of shops also saw a big rush of people in the city’s main bazaar for a few hours on Monday morning. Many traders, who had faced loss of business since the imposition of curfew on March 24, opened their shops and business establishments. Anxious to get back to normalcy, they started cleaning their premises and resumed business.

As a few shopkeepers began opening their outlets in Big Bazaar Street and surrounding areas in the morning, many others followed suit quickly. With the movement of businessmen and workers, the city’s main commercial areas of Singarathope, Big Bazaar Street, NSB Road and West Boulevard Road witnessed heavy rush and traffic for some time. Many did not seem to be bothered about adhering to social distancing norms. While some traders wore face masks, many others did not bother to do so.

However, big textile showrooms on NSB Road and Chinnakadai Street remained closed though a few small readymade garment shops were open.

“We are happy to open the shop after about one and half months, but we have opened it mainly for carrying out repair works,” said A. Rafeek, who works in a ready-made shop on NSB Road.

As per the announcement, shopping malls, tea shops, air conditioned textile showrooms, jewellery shops, saloon and spas, bike and car showrooms are to remain closed. However, other shops and business establishments such as mechanic shops, spare parts stores, hardware stores, stationeries, cement, electric and electronic shops can resume operation from Wednesday. Collector S. Sivarasu, in a press release, said shops in urban areas can be opened from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and those in rural areas can function between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.from Wednesday.

Meanwhile, in a statement, Ve. Govindarajulu, general secretary, Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peramaipu, urged the Collector to allow opening of the flower and garland shops and groceries at the Gandhi Market. He also appealed to the Collector to allow maintenance and cleaning works in air-conditioned textile shops, malls and commercial establishments as they had remained closed for more than 40 days and their stocks could have been damaged by rodents.

In Thanjavur, shopping areas such as Keezhvasal, South Street, East Street, Ayyankadai Street, Railway junction corner and other shopping zones bustled with activity as people moved around in their vehicles to get their works completed. Some shops like furniture showrooms, footwear showrooms functioned with half-the shutters opened. Meat stalls in the town drew customers in large numbers.

There was also increase in movement of people in Kumbakonam, Pattukottai, Peravurani and Adhiramapattinam.

Reports indicated that people moved around freely in Tiruvarur district too on Monday morning. Large number of people thronged shops in places such as Tiruvarur, Thiruthuraipoondi, Mannargudi and Muthupettai as the stand-alone shops had opened their shutters after a long period.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 10:10:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/shopkeepers-jump-the-gun-resume-business/article31502871.ece

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