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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Mumbai: Reopening of non-essential shops leads to crowding in market areas

People headed out to make purchases, such as stationery, clothes and umbrellas and repair works, which were held up for weeks.

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao | Mumbai |
June 5, 2021 1:13:56 am
At a salon in Nerul, Navi Mumbai on Friday. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

Two months after non-essential shops opened, there was crowding in some areas of the city. Many market areas, especially near local railway stations, were crowded as shops opened for business from June 1.

People headed out to make purchases, such as stationery, clothes and umbrellas and repair works, which were held up for weeks.

Street vendors selling clothes and household items have also resumed business on station roads in Goregaon, Malad, Borivali, Mulund and Chembur. In a few places in the western suburbs, the BMC and police vans managed the crowd.

As part of the state government’s ‘Break the chain’ initiative, the BMC allowed non-essential shops to reopen from June 1. According to the circular, shops on the right side of the road were allowed to open on Mondays, Wednes-days and Fridays.

Shops on the left were allowed to open on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Civic ward officials issued the circular on Tuesday, with a list of roads specifying left and right. This rule is applicable on a rotational basis.

All non-essential shops will be shut on Saturdays and Sundays.

While the alternate-day rule was strictly followed by shops on arterial roads like SV Road and Link Road, shops located inside smaller lanes defied rules, with people crowding shops after noon. Traders in Andheri (West) municipal market, Malad (West), and some in Jogeshwari were open on both sides of the road.

An electronics shop owner from Jogeshwari said, “It is just not financially feasible for me to open shops just for three or two days a week, and that too for seven hours. There are electricity bills, employees’ salaries to be paid. I am not allowing customers to crowd the shop and following Covid-19 regulations.”

Cutlery, electronics, general household items, mobile repair and shops selling umbrellas and raincoats saw high footfall across the city. There was a lot of crowding at garment market in Malad (West) on Friday afternoon.

While shops are allowed to open from 7 am, shopkeepers and traders said timings were not feasible.

A mobile repair shop owner from Andheri (West) market said, “In the last two days, I have not seen any customer before 10 am. Usually, crowd starts swelling in the market between noon and 2 pm. People are stepping out for urgent repair work.”

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