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regular-article-logo Monday, 22 April 2024

Shopping frenzy on last Sunday before Puja

Many were spotted without masks; quite a few were wearing them but those were hanging around their ears or below their chins

Snehal Sengupta Calcutta Published 19.10.20, 01:45 AM
Puja shoppers at South City Mall on Sunday evening

Puja shoppers at South City Mall on Sunday evening Pradip Sanyal

The city’s shopping malls erupted in festive frenzy on the last Sunday before Durga Puja as young faces looking for the latest fashion picks headed to the shopping hubs in droves.

Many were, however, spotted without masks. Quite a few were wearing masks but those were hanging around their ears or below their chins.

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Public health experts have again and again been stressing the need to wear masks and sanitise hands to prevent Covid-19 infection.

The Telegraph hopped from one mall to another to witness the shopping blitz

City Centre

The parking lot of the Salt Lake mall was chock-a-block on Sunday afternoon.

The restaurants at the mall, too, did brisk business as people stepped in for some sip and bite after a round of shopping.

Metro spotted an elderly couple from Salt Lake, Soumyajit and Priyadarshini Chatterjee, walking out of the mall carrying four shopping bags. “I bought a sari for myself and a couple of shirts for my husband. We also bought some clothes for our grandchildren. Puja is knocking on the door and we could not stay back home,” said Priyadarshini, who taught at a government-run school.

Sanjana Agarwal, 26, who headed to a restaurant for lunch with friends, said: “We have been cooped up inside our houses for so long that we had to be here shopping today. All of us are wearing masks and we are carrying sanitisers as well,” said Agarwal.

A college student and her friend were spotted without masks. “We are heading to a restaurant. How can we eat with masks on? So we have taken them off,” said the girl who refused to be named.

Sukanta Mukhopadhyay, the mall head, said the footfall crossed 35,000 on Sunday.

South City Mall

A steady stream of cars, two-wheelers and app cabs was seen making its way towards the mall on Prince Anwar Shah Road on Sunday afternoon, slowing down traffic. The guards at the main entrance to the mall asked visitors without masks to wear one.

“I have left behind my mask in my car by mistake. They did not let me in. I am headed to the parking lot to fetch the mask,” said Arvind Saraogi, a businessman from Alipore.

The mall recorded footfall in excess of 48,000 on Sunday, an official said.

“The shopping pattern has changed completely. People who used to visit malls multiple times to shop have changed tactics and are visiting once or twice and buying all the stuff they need,” the official said.

Dum Dum resident Gitanjali Sehanobis had come to the mall with her mother and sister Mouli on Sunday evening for dinner. “We stepped out for the first time since March and are here for dinner. We have brought sanitisers and are making it a point not to touch anything, including escalator grab rails,” said Gitanjali, who works at an IT company.

Acropolis

The Kasba mall was teeming with shoppers on Sunday afternoon. One of the big draws at the mall was the gaming arcade, where parents took their children to play while they headed to stores.

The food court as well as the restaurants were bustling as well.

A mall official said the day’s footfall had crossed 20,000.

“All stores at the mall are doing good business. We are ensuring that everyone is wearing a mask. Sanitisers have been kept at the entry and exit of the stores,” said K. Vijayan, the general manager of Acropolis Mall.

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