Kolkata: Shops in central business district, Salt Lake open, to follow three-day-week model& |  Photo Credit: PTI
While Kolkata is still reeling with the COVID-19 crisis, almost two-third of nearly 25,000 traders, between Esplanade and Strand Road in the central business district, have reopened their shops on Monday (July 13). This has been carried out under the first day of the three-day-week model. In addition, the markets in Salt Lake have started functioning on the basis of the even-odd day pattern to minimise crowd
Stressing more in this regard, almost half of the shops on Bentinck Street were open. On the other hand, most of the shops on NS Road as well as on Strand Road and Wellington remained shut on Monday.
Sushil Poddar, the president of the Confederation of the Trade Associations (CTA) said, “It seems that traders are also jittery about the crowd now. We have a meeting on Monday, where we will take feedbacks from each of the member organisations. On the other hand, Rajesh Bhatia — secretary of the CTA — opined, “The associations have been asked to identify suitable days of the week when they want their cluster of shops to remain opened. Each of them has their preferences and I think we will streamline things in a week’s time.”
Bengal Cycle Traders Association, meanwhile, have asked their members to not keep their shops closed, especially on Tuesday-Thursday-Friday. The President of Bengal Cycle Traders’ Association, Ravi Jajodia pointed out, “There are markets like Tiretti Bazar where it is difficult to enforce such regulations. But most of the organised traders have agreed to the proposition. We have 150 members and they are trying to follow the model.”
The even-odd day structure was followed across 17 market complexes in Salt Lake. However, the other local markets in some areas will remain shut on Tuesday, Thursday as well as on Saturday. While some markets will follow early morning shifts, other stores will remain open from 6 am till noon to avoid crowd-gathering in large numbers.