All markets in the Sonarpur-Rajpur area in the outskirts of Kolkata will remain closed for three days from Monday to Saturday, as part of a series of steps taken by the municipality to contain the second wave of Covid-19 in the area.
Sonarpur-Rajpur municipal town was badly hit when the second wave of Covid-19 was at its peak. According to locals, around 300 people on average used to be infected per day in the 35 wards of the town. Now, that number has reportedly decreased to 100. The municipal administrator Pallab Kumar Das claims that only 10 people were infected on Saturday. He said, “The rate of Covid infection has gone down a lot in recent times. But it’s not yet down to zero. We have kept the marketplaces closed these three days so that the rate of spread can be curbed.”
A large body of traders are, however, not in agreement with the decision of the municipal corporation. Debashish Dan, a local trader, said, “While it’s good that the markets are getting shut down, there’s a problem here. What about those who go to Kolkata and come back with the virus? What’s the corporation going to do to stop that?”
Soumen Ghosh, a shopper in the area, said, “Shutting down markets for three days is not the solution. A complete lockdown is needed here.”
Gopal Das, a member of the local market committee, said that “It’s the decision of the municipal corporation, we cannot do anything about it.” However, Pallab Das claims that the decision for shutting down the market was taken in the presence of the market committee. “We have noticed that it’s the market which attracts the most crowds. While it’s not possible to prevent people from coming into the town from outside, closing the markets can help in stopping people from stepping out of their homes.”