The sudden closure of markets under the South Dum Dum municipality because of the spike in Covid cases has led to crowding in the ones that were open in the nearby areas.
Although markets in Lake Town, Nagerbazar and Bangur bore a deserted look, many residents from these areas went shopping in the Ultadanga market. There was a sizable crowd at the temporary market adjacent to the Dum Dum railway station.
Even though many shoppers had face covers most shopkeepers did not.
Around 11am a police team went around the market making announcements to wear masks.
Nagerbazar resident Sukumar Pramanik who visited the Dum Dum market said it was appalling to see so many people without masks. “People put on their masks only when the cops were around. The moment the team left, they took it off,” said Pramanik.
A large number of residents from these areas also thronged the Muchibazar market. Here too similar scenes played out.
Several shoppers as well as shopkeepers had their masks hanging from their chins while many did not have any face cover at all. “Mask pore dokandari hoi? Katha sona jai na (Can you manage a shop wearing a mask? The customers cannot hear what I tell them,” said Khokan Mondal, a fishmonger at Munchibazar.
An official of the South Dum Dum Municipality said more than a 100 fresh cases were being reported from the 35 wards which forced them to shut the markets thrice a week.
The 2km-stretch from Diamond Plaza mall till the Nagerbazar intersection remains clogged with shoppers in the morning and evening.
“Fresh infections have been reported from pockets along Nagerbazar, Lake Town and Bangur among others,” said an official of the South Dum Dum municipality.