Bengaluru’s Chickpet shopping district to close for a week as COVID-19 cases rise

Over 20,000 shops have reportedly expressed an intention to close their shops.
Chickpet market
Chickpet market
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Traders’ associations in the main shopping district in Bengaluru’s Chickpet area have voluntarily decided against holding normal business operations for a week after areas in and around the market have been reporting a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases. The shopping market will be closed until June 29.

Chickpet is a centrally-located shopping district with around 50,000 shops, where consumers can purchase cloth, sarees, paper goods, jewellery and electronic goods in bulk. The closure of this main market would mean losses amounting to crores of rupees per day, Deccan Herald reported.

The daily reported that over 20,000 shops had expressed an intention to close their shops. They said that they would meet with the local MLA, Congresses Dinesh Gundu Rao to come to a collective decision on Monday.

BJP corporator Leela Shivakumar told DH that the area witnesses a footfall of 1.2 lakh to 2 lakh people every day due to trade-related activities, a number which increases during the weekend, and that around 400 people in the area are currently under home quarantine since they returned from outside the state.

However, the move has not sat well with some individuals who are part of the Chickpet traders association. They said that even if the business was not open to the public, it was undemocratic of the association to demand that they pull down the shutters to all the offices. This was because businesses would still need to complete other official tasks like salary bills, accounting, and so on, the Hindu reported.

Bengaluru reported 196 new cases of coronavirus on June 21, taking the total in the city to over a thousand cases. 102 new cases in Bengaluru had no travel or contact history. The state, meanwhile, reported 453 new cases on Sunday, taking the total number of cases to 9,150.

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