DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 4: Two markets in Dimapur ~ Hongkong Market and New Market ~ opened for business on Friday after nearly 6 months of closure. Both these markets were closed down after the countrywide lockdown was announced and remained closed till yesterday.
After the complexes of both the markets were sanitized on Thursday, the usual business began. However, shops opened as per the protocol set by the district administration.
In Hongkong Market/Hazi Park, the Odd-Even formula was followed strictly as directed by the district administration ~ all shopkeepers wore masks. Though the market did not have many customers on Friday, being the first day of opening, the traders told Nagaland Page that people would start coming to the market in the days to come.
Most shops selling garments, electronic items and mobile phones were open as per the protocol, while those near the Flyover Bridge had opened fully and had quite a number of people purchasing various items.
President of Hazi Park Business Welfare Committee, Hukato V Achumi told Nagaland Page that the markets have opened after 6 months and they were going to ensure that shopkeepers strictly follow the COVID-19 protocols.
He said as directed by the district authorities, the opening of shops have been planned on an odd-even basis and the Committee will ensure that the shopkeepers maintain it strictly.
Businessmen in the Hongkong Market/Hazi Park complex have suffered huge losses during the lockdown and due to closure of the shops for an extended period hence the order for opening the shops has come as a relief for them.
Most traders narrated their woes and bemoaned that it had been difficult for them to survive during the last 6 months of closure of their shops. While petty businessmen had opted to sell their items in different parts of the town during the relaxation period, those dealing in costly garments had no option but to suffer silently till the Government’s directive to re-open the market was issued, a garment shop owner told Nagaland Page.
Meanwhile, traders, including footpath vendors of New Market, were back in business and were following the COVID-19 protocols.
The opening of New Market after a gap of almost 6 months saw large number of customers as grocery, fish and mutton markets, besides garments shops, were open. The shopkeepers too maintained the protocols by wearing masks and ensured that social distancing is maintained.
Footpath vendors were seen in large numbers selling varieties of food items and fruits to customers.
“We were expecting the reopening of New Market. Our lives have been badly ruined due to the closure of the New Market. We were not able to earn during this lockdown and many of us were even struggling for our daily food”, a vegetable vendor said while talking to Nagaland Page.
Another shopkeeper said, “We were not allowed to open shops or footpath stalls in other areas of Dimapur and so we were the hard hit”.
An elderly grocery wholesaler while narrating his ordeal to Nagaland Page said, “We may have to remain closed again if there is an outbreak of Coronavirus in Dimapur”, and urged all to maintain social distancing and the follow the Do’s and Don’ts.
The entire New Market came alive today with large numbers of customers purchasing basic needs after a long period of shutdown.
An elderly Manipuri lady working as a cook in a hotel in New Market along with her husband said, “Unnecessarily we suffered, and none takes cares of us when we need help the most”. She further said it’s a long awaited moment today when for thousands of people, whose livelihood had been hampered due to the bandh, are able to work again.
(Page News Service)