Indore: With shops and markets reopening on Monday, the roads and shops were crowded, especially those near Kothari Market, Ranipura, Pardeshipura, Chhawni, Siyaganj, Maharani Road, Malwa Mill, Jail Road. Unfortunately, social distancing was not being maintained in most of the places by the people and the shopkeepers too appeared more interested in promoting their business rather than enforcing Covid norms on the customers. Moreover, government officials too were not present to enforce the rules.
However, retail shopkeepers appeared happy with the reopening, but were also concerned about the future as they have suffered a major loss due to the lockdown and said that another lockdown would ruin them.
Naresh Rajpal of Rajpal Car Décor said that today is the first day that we got permission to start our business. Our business is running with a 50 per cent loss for the past two years due to Covid-19 crisis and lockdown.
Yuvraj Nagar, a shop owner selling pumps said that their business mainly runs in summers but this year due to lockdown during the summer months, the sale of pumps was affected. He said that they had faced a similar situation last year also and expressed hope that business would pick up as our sales are down by 50 per cent.
Kunal Sharma of Raj stationery said that the sale of books, copies, pens, pencils etc was nil because schools were shut for the last two years. Now that shops have reopened, I expect things will get better.
Jitendra Verma, manager, DM Electronics said that the timing of 8 am to 5 pm is very wrong. "Customers rarely come to buy electronic products early in the morning or even in the afternoon. Most of them prefer to come in the evening, but we have to shut our shops by them," he said adding that the sale of fans, coolers, and ACs did not take place this year due to lockdown in the summer months.
Sheikh Sallaudding of Bombay Chicken said that chicken prices have increased between Rs 80 to Rs 100 because supply has come down. "Due to lockdown, poultry owners have reduced their stock of birds," Sheikh said.
Overall the people supported the lockdown even though it has resulted in losses for the shopkeepers and traders. They were of the opinion that it was better to close the markets rather than risk Covid-19 spreading. However, some people also said that with lower business, the economy would be affected and that would indirectly affect the people. But, they also stressed that lockdown was necessary.