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Covid Curfew

Night curb? What’s that? New Town eateries busy after 11pm

The curfew has been back in force since October 21, after a 10-day hiatus on the occasion of Durga Puja

Snehal Sengupta | Published 26.10.21, 07:42 AM
Vehicles parked in front of eateries near the Unitech  bus stop in New Town after 11pm on Sunday.

Vehicles parked in front of eateries near the Unitech bus stop in New Town after 11pm on Sunday.

Telegraph photo

Dhabas and other eateries in New Town have turned into night hotspots where people gather even after the Covid curfew kicks in at 11pm, ignoring the dangers posed by the rising virus graph across Bengal.

The Telegraph drove through all three action areas in New Town on Sunday night and spotted rows of cars and bikes parked outside eateries, some of which are along the 10.5km-long Major Arterial Road (MAR) that cuts through the township.

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The Telegraph reported on Monday how the night curfew, a move aimed at slowing down the spread of the coronavirus, was violated across Kolkata.

The curfew has been back in force since October 21, after a 10-day hiatus on the occasion of Durga Puja.

In Action Area I of New Town, a cluster of pavement-grabbing food stalls and roadside eateries behind Coal Bhavan, near the DLF 1 bus stop, was abuzz with diners. The eateries were serving food well past 11pm.

A police jeep in front of a cluster of eateries near the Unitech bus stop after 11pm on Sunday.

A police jeep in front of a cluster of eateries near the Unitech bus stop after 11pm on Sunday.

Telegraph photo

A resident of Animikha Housing Complex said most of the roadside eateries in the area stayed open even after 1.30am.

“This place comes alive after 11pm. It is scary as hundreds gather on bikes and in cars. They eat and indulge in night-long adda. We have even spotted people drinking in cars,” said Shinjini Chakraborty, a resident of the housing complex.

A cluster of eateries near the Unitech Bus stop, too, had a long line of vehicles parked in front of them. The hangar-like structure that houses more than 60 stalls was crowded with customers.

Most of the customers, waiters and stall owners did not have their masks on.

People were sitting in clusters, eating and sipping tea or coffee.

Shambu Naskar, who was managing the counter of an eatery that sells biryani and rolls, said he was not aware of any night curbs.

“We did brisk business during the Puja. The trend of eating out late continues. The police also have not asked us to down shutters after 11pm,” Naskar said.

Further down the road, the temporary market opposite Sukhobrishti  Housing Complex presented a similar picture.

“We often come here for food as this is one of the few places in the city that remains open till late,” said Vikas Agarwal, a resident of Dum Dum who was out on a drive with friends. The group decided to eat some snacks before heading back home.

Except for a police jeep in front of the cluster of eateries near the Unitech bus stop, no cop was seen at any of the hotspots. The jeep remained parked for some time before moving away, while the eateries continued with their business.

An officer of the Bidhannagar commissionerate said they were checking the papers of vehicles in New Town post-11pm and also asking people why they were out during the curfew hours.

“We will inspect the eateries,” the officer said.

Last updated on 01.11.21, 11:10 AM
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