With a 10-day lockdown in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad coming into force on Tuesday, residents are rushing to shops across the cities to stock up on essentials items. On Saturday, grocery shops, traditional markets in the Peth areas and vegetable shops witnessed a huge rush, with customers standing in long queues throughout the day.
Outside the D-Mart outlet at the Royal Heritage Mall, NIBM Annnex, people stood in lines, but maintained social distancing norms. Similar scenes were seen at the More Megastore outlet in Undri.
Many grocery stores and malls in Pimple Saudagar and Sangvi areas also saw a steady stream of customers on Saturday. Local grocery and fruit outlets, vegetable vendors and fish markets on NIBM Mohamadwadi Road had stocked up extensively for the rise in demand prior to the complete lockdown.
“We are attending to thrice the number of people… they are buying in large quantities. They are asking for more milk too, even though we are telling them that sale of milk will continue through the lockdown,” said a grocery shop owner on Sus Road.
Queues were observed outside grocery shops as well as liquor shops, and a rush was observed at sweet shops and bakeries. A kitchenware shop owner in Pashan said, “People made some last-minute purchases of essential kitchenware that they were planning to do over next few days.”
A cobbler on Sus Road said, “From Saturday morning, I have got more customers than say two days ago. A number of people came for minor footwear and umbrella repairs…”.
Vilas Kulkarni, a businessman, said that he was planning to buy groceries to stock up for the upcoming lockdown, but seeing the serpentine queues at the shops, he decided to postpone the purchase for later.
“My wife has asked me to buy groceries that will last for two weeks. I did a recce of the market and found that there was a huge rush at all the grocery shops in the area. I could not afford to waste time standing in queues as I have to also finish some urgent business before the lockdown starts. I will try to shop on Sunday or Monday,” said Kulkarni.
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