Shops at Princep street beside the Profulla Sarkar street in Kolkata (file photo)
KOLKATA: Nearly 25,000 shops in the Central Business District will follow the even-odd day rule from Monday after its members agreed to a three-day-a-week format. Traders’ bodies felt that keeping groups of shops open on alternate days will significantly reduce the pressure of the customers that they had been facing for past few weeks since the unlock was announced.
Automobile spare parts and bicycle shops — located mainly on Prinsep Street, Ezra Street, Sooterkin Street and Prafulla Sarkar Street — will remain open on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Electrical and electronic goods shops have already agreed to a four-day-a-week model and decided to keep shops open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
“We are talking to several trade bodies so equal number of shops are open on each day. Before the pandemic and lockdown, shops between Esplanade and Strand Road used to get around 70,000 customers per day. That has been reduced to nearly one-fourth now. But still it is difficult to maintain social distancing,” said Arun Poddar, president of the Confederation of Trade Associations.
Automobile spare parts shops in the CBD had earlier announced a 7-day closure from Friday. “All of our 630 members have been asked to keep shops closed for seven days, following which a call will be taken,” said Rita Mitra, president of the CMDA.
Rajesh Bhatia, general secretary of the Confederation of Trade Associations said that nearly 60 trade bodies, who are members of the association, have agreed to follow the three-day-a-week model for one week.
Nearly 700 members of the Calcutta Chamber of Trade have decided to follow a four-day week model for the time being to reduce the crowd. “We are keeping shops open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday,” said Shabbir Hazrat, president of the Calcutta Chamber of Trade.