Monday, 30th October 2017

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Business hit, New Market shuts down

Over 1,000 shops dotting the area, including those on Lindsay Street, Bertram Street, Globe mall and Shreeram Arcade would remain shut

By Kinsuk Basu in Calcutta
  • Published 22.03.20, 3:03 AM
  • Updated 22.03.20, 3:03 AM
  • a min read
  •  
New Market around 3pm on Saturday. Picture by Pradip Sanyal

New Market will remain shut till Monday night, traders decided on Saturday in view of the dwindling footfall.

Over 1,000 shops dotting the area, including those on Lindsay Street, Bertram Street, Globe mall and Shreeram Arcade would remain shut. Only shops selling essentials such as medicines would be open.

All markets ion the city will remain closed on Sunday, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for a Janata Curfew from 7am to 9pm.

Shop owners across the city’s markets, including Gariahat, Lake Market, Maniktala and Sealdah, said they were yet to decide about Monday.

Traders at Salt Lake markets said they would open shop on Monday and decide on the next course of action depending on the footfall.

New Market had been struggling to attract customers over the past few days. A popular shopping destination for visitors from abroad, particularly Bangladesh, travel restrictions and fear of the spread of the coronavirus hit the market hard.

“The business at New Market largely revolves around buyers from abroad and Bangladeshis comprise the largest chunk,” said Debu Bhattacharya, the secretary of the New Market Traders’ Association. “Since we have had almost zero business over the past few days, we realised it made no sense to keep the market open. This was a unanimous decision,” he said.

The central Calcutta market comprises around 2,300 shops spread across new and old buildings.

A few shops in New Market had opened on Saturday but they, too, downed shutters by afternoon.

“We will review the situation on Monday and then take a call,” said Ashim Bardhan, one of the members of Joint Forum of Traders. “Forget tourists, even local customers are not turning up at New Market. We really don’t know what to do.”

While shop owners said the dip was nearly 70 per cent, others said there had been no transactions over the last few days in New Market.

Across other markets, shop owners and traders remained undecided about Monday. “Since we won’t be able to bring our items, no shop will remain open on Sunday,” said Sankar Das, a wholesale fish trader at Gariahat.“We will open on Monday and then take a decision depending on how the market looks up.”