Barely two weekends left before Durga Puja, Kolkatans were out in force across shopping hubs on Sunday.
Couples and families with children in tow chose to put the scare of the pandemic on the back seat and indulge in shopping and eating out.
By 4.30pm, the parking lot of City Centre in Salt Lake was chock-a-block with vehicles. Inside, excited shoppers moved from one store to another and restaurants had queues in front of them.
“We are getting a lot of footfall on the weekends. It has almost reached the pre-pandemic level,” said Sukanta Mukhopadhyay, the mall head. Sunday’s footfall, he said, crossed 35,000.
Arya Chaudhary, a New Town resident, went to the mall with her family.
“Chances are the next couple of days will be rainy. We were already stranded for three days as our complex and the roads outside were waterlogged,” he said.
Joy Chakraborty, from Kalyani in Nadia district, had planned Sunday’s Puja shopping two weeks back.
“I had planned this Sunday’s shopping with my wife, two sisters and other family members two weeks ago,” said Chakraborty, an official at a scientific research institute, who was shopping at South City Mall in south Kolkata.
Stores at Acropolis Mall, too, did brisk business. The footfall at the mall, according to officials, crossed 20,000.
“The footfall is up by 10 per cent compared with the corresponding period last year and 50 per cent of the same period in 2019. We are expecting better footfall next week as there is no forecast of rain then,” said a mall official.
At South City, cars, app cabs and bikes moved in and out of the mall, triggering snarls on the road outside. Inside, the food court was brimming with people.
The stores did brisk business. "We are getting a large number of serious buyers and sales have been encouraging over the past few weekends,” said the manager of a denim store at the mall.
General manager Deep Banerjee said the footfall at the mall crossed 45,000 on Sunday.