Markets choked with shoppers; social distancing goes for a toss
Mysore/Mysuru: For the second successive Varamahalakshmi festive season, the city’s major flower markets, particularly at the century-old Devaraja Market, remained temporarily closed as a precaution against COVID-19. Instead, the markets were shifted to the spacious J.K. Grounds to ensure social distancing.
But so many people gathered at J.K. Grounds this morning hours ahead of the festival that it was impossible to maintain distance. Both vendors and buyers focussed on selling off their flowers or buying stocks, forgetting COVID. All of them put the pandemic backstage and indulged in flower trade with a smile as if nothing had happened.
The flower markets inside closed premises like Devaraja Market, Vani Vilas Market and Mandi Mohalla Market are congested and thousands of people throng them to buy flowers. Since there are more chances of transmission of the virus, it was decided to shift the flower section to J.K. Grounds.
Yesterday afternoon, Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) Commissioner G. Lakshmikantha Reddy issued an order to temporarily shift the flower market to J.K. Grounds from last evening itself. As the order was issued late, many flower vendors had not shifted but were conducting business at Devaraja Market.
Flower market was shifted to J.K. Grounds last year too.
Today, nearly 150 flower vendors shifted to J.K. Grounds with a few pitching German tents to protect themselves and their products from sun and rain. Women were seen purchasing flowers, puja articles, fruits and vegetables to propitiate Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth. Flower market will be open at J.K. Grounds tomorrow also.
Meanwhile, DC Dr. Bagadi Gautham has asked MCC officials and the jurisdictional Devaraja Police to see to it that all COVID guidelines are followed. Devaraja Inspector Diwakar, SI Raju and staff were seen instructing the public to wear face masks and maintain social distance. Devaraja Traffic Police were seen managing the traffic.
MCC Health Officer Dr. D.G. Nagaraj and staff went around crowded places instructing public to follow COVID guidelines.
People were also seen thronging fancy stores, gift shops, readymade garments and saree shops to buy new clothes for the festival.