All markets in Chandigarh opened on Tuesday after a hiatus of sixty days including tourist spot, Sector 17 plaza and the congested rehri markets. However, most residents preferred to stay indoors and only the mobile market of Sector 22 witnessed some rush.
While shops in plaza and other sector dividing roads were allowed to open without the odd-even scheme, rehri markets and other congested still had that basis.
The Sector 22 market which once did not see space even to walk, was almost deserted on Tuesday even as 150 shops out of 300 were opened.
Some shop owners selling footwear, garments and small items had customers in only ones or twos, and were armed with a sanitizer.
“We have decided that before even allowing the customer to touch our material, we sanitize their hands. Because the same cloth and shoes are then touched by another person and we don’t want infection to pass on,” said Goldy who has a shop in Shastri market.
The mobile market did see customers who had either gone to get their mobile phones repaired or to buy a new one. These shops had deployed one staff member outside to ensure that only five enter the shop at a time. Vishal, a resident of Sector 22 said, “The microphone of my phone got spoilt and as shops were not allowed to open, I was really facing a lot of problem. I have just come to give this mobile for repair. If they say it won’t work, I will purchase a new one.”
Another category of shop where residents went in for was the opticians. “I had a pair of spectacles which broke so I have come to order a new pair,” said Raj Kumar, a resident of sector 19.
Many people also decided to walk to the markets as pillion rising is not allowed yet in the UT, and they don’t know how to drive. “My mobile’s screen had broken and. But I don’t know how to drive and my brother could not drop me on his bike, so I walked to the market to get the screen repaired,” said Richa, a resident of Sector 23 said.
Confusion at Dhabas
In Sector 11, dhaba owners opened but police officers asked them to down the shutters as they said dhabas were not in the category of restaurants and only restaurants were allowed to do home delivery.
Sanjay Kumar, from Kale ka dhaba said that he got various orders for home delivery through Zomato but he couldn’t operate as police forcibly got his shop closed. “I was just preparing my orders with the staff when police officers came and got the dhabas closed. Are we not treated in the category of restaurants? We are also doing home delivery only,” he said while speaking to The Indian Express. UT Adviser Manoj Parida said that dhabas were not allowed.
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