Crowds swell in Noida and Ghaziabad markets despite police fines
As the second wave of Covid-19 continues in India, local authorities in Noida and Ghaziabad are witnessing large crowds at local markets despite this violating local regulations.
Markets in Noida and Ghaziabad in Atta, Sector 27, and Sector 8 were very crowded on Monday evening, a team from the Times of India observed. Local authorities have said that they may consider temporarily closing markets if social distancing regulations continue to be violated.
Crowded markets show consumers are eager to continue to purchase supplies despite the continued threat of Covid-19. Retailers are also keen to keep their outlets open despite the health risks and violation of regulations as many are trying to financially recover from being fully or partially shut during the recent lockdown.
Police have been issuing fines but this is not deterring the crowds, TNN reported. Some store owners in the area and the Atta Market Association are also calling for increased police supervision to stop crowding and reduce the amount of unauthorised street vendors which they feel are causing the issue of crowding. Street vendors’ products are often cheaper than those found in brick-and-mortar stores and often cater to shoppers who have to purchase goods more frequently due to their lower income.
The continued tension between retailers, customers, and local authorities shows that, despite a lot of economic activity restarting, the second wave of Covid-19 is not over yet. Weekend and night curfews still remain in the area and retailers are arguing that, while these regulations have little impact on crowds, they are harming revenue.
“We were really hopeful that the weekend curfew will end now,” the Sector 18 market association’s president SK Jain told TNN.
“Since that is not happening, many businesses are suffering huge losses. The government should reconsider its decision, especially for places like Noida that are very close to Delhi. If the weekend lockdown stays, the customer will go towards Delhi. This not only harms the traders, but the government is also losing revenue that is going to Delhi instead of Uttar Pradesh.”
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