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Hustle gone, corona chokes Delhi's shopping spirit

March 18, 2020 04:10 PM

NEW DELHI:On a spring afternoon in Delhi, when one expects hustle and bustle in shopping hot spots like Dilli Haat, Sarojini Nagar, Connaught Place and malls like Select City walk, there is only defeaning silence.

In one of the most visited shoppers' paradise, Dilli Haat the shop owners claim that the market has seen one of the least footfalls of all time. The situation is so bad that there have been days when they have returned home empty-handed, claimed more than one shopkeepers

"Within about 15 days, the footfall gone down drastically, there have been days that I have returned home empty handed. On other days I have to wait till evening to get the first sale," Rizwan, a Kashmiri artefacts dealer said.

Another trader in the market who deals in leather-made goods remarked, "Every market in Delhi is closed, we are coming here just to get a little revenue to pay for rent of this shop."

Meanwhile, security guards in the market places were seen using masks and sanitisers were placed at the security check point as a precautionary measure.

However, it was not only Dilli Haat that faced heat of Coronavirus outbreak; shopping malls like Select City walk mall, DLF group of malls witnessed lonely showroom and relatively empty eateries.

In Select City Walk, the management decided to use thermal scanner to check body temperature of visitors, as a precautionary measure.

In the DLF group of malls, the premises were sanitised at regular intervals, hand sanitisers were kept at multiple locations along with thermal screening of the customers to make sure visitors have proper sanitisation facility.

However, panic was evident on visitors faces as they remain extra careful during their visits to these market places.

"My sister is here to pay me visit and I had to take her out, so I decided to take her here in Dilli Haat. But then we are making sure that we pay by cards or through e-banking to avoid contact," Anirudh who works in Noida said.

This eerie feeling is the result of the government aggressively pitching for social distancing and avoidance of public places to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus and bring down the graph that has so far killed two in the country, including an elderly mother from West Delhi and paralyzed all major institutions like schools, gyms, movie theatres, swimming pools.

India may not have reached China's Wuhan-like shutdown, but the semi-haunted tourist spots of Delhi only speak volumes about how badly the capital has come under the corona-grip.

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