After over two months, Bengaluru unlocked on July 5, which was evident in traffic volume and snarls on the streets since Monday morning. Increased footfall was seen at metro stations and bus stands at Majestic in the morning.
Malls and temples re-opened on Monday. While temples saw a steady stream of devotees, malls were slow to pick up footfalls. With theatres remaining closed, malls expected a slow start.
“It will take at least a week before people come back to malls enthusiastically. We will know how it pans out on the weekend,” said a senior officer of a chain of bookstores in one of the malls.
The hotel industry, which is allowed to function with no restrictions on occupancy, is enthusiastic about the expected uptick in business. However, pubs remain shut.
Traders are happy at the extension of hours of operation. In the wake of Karnataka relaxing lockdown norms from July 5 morning, public utilities in Bengaluru have extended service hours. The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) is running trains from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Namma Metro services will be available even on weekends. Buses operated by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) are available till 9 p.m.; the Corporation has plans to run 4,500 buses every day.
Staff of the BMTC monitoring movement of buses at Majestic was seen checking whether social distancing norms were being followed. As per the rule, standing is not allowed in buses in Bengaluru. However, following social distancing norms is not easy during peak hours.
The BMRCL is allowing passengers to occupy all the seats inside metro coaches.