Mad Rush!

Mad Rush!

April 30, 2021

Crowds at various city markets between 6 am and 10 am could hinder Government’s attempt at controlling COVID spread

Mysore/Mysuru: With the Government allowing essential commodities trading only for four hours from 6 am to 10 am on all days till May 12, when the 14-day Statewide COVID Curfew ends, merchants and traders of the city and district are witnessing a huge rush during this window period.

As a result, Santhepet in the heart of the city, where many wholesale and retail shops selling grains and other commodities are located, is witnessing an unusual rush during the permitted business hours.  Traffic jams have become a common sight on all the roads, lanes  and sub-roads of Santhepet and vicinity as traders and vendors from rural parts of the district come along with small goods vehicles. Most of the times the roads see bumper-to-bumper traffic  during the window period. 

Also, violation of COVID-19 guidelines are a common sight here as people don’t seem to care for following Government guidelines such as wearing of face mask, maintenance of physical distancing and sanitising of hands. With a high number of customers thronging their shops at once, the traders too have hardly any time to ensure that COVID norms are followed.

A  similar situation can be seen around Dufferin Clock Tower (Chikka Gadiyara), Shivarampet and Vinoba Road, where people and traders  are seen busy buying fruits, vegetables and other essential commodities.

There is no sign of adhering to COVID-19 Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) at these places also and people who are busy buying their essentials within the 10 am deadline, seem to ignore the regular public announcements made by the Police.

The narrow Ane Sarot Road (Boti Bazar Road), which is always a crowded street, is all the more crowded during the COVID Curfew window period from 6 am to 10 am. The road, where Mutton Market is located, is dotted by fruits and  vegetables vendors, both wholesale and retail,  as well as a good number of pushcart vendors, leaving little space for pedestrian and vehicular movement on this highly congested road. With such a large crowd hitting the streets for purchases, the Police  often have a hard time in crowd management and regulation of vehicular movement. This road also witnesses frequent traffic jams, with vehicles moving at a snail’s pace. 

Crowding of people and traffic jam was witnessed near Dufferin Clock Tower (pic. above) and at Santhepet this morning.

The situation is no better on M.G. Road, where over 400 vegetable traders and vendors, most of whom are from villages around the city, do business. As most of the bulk supplies of fruits and vegetables are offloaded on this road, vendors from surrounding villages and other parts of the city throng the M.G. Road Vegetable Market for early trading.

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 With the Market having little space to accommodate such a big number of fruit  and vegetable dealers and sellers, the market presents a picture of over0crowding  on all days. Now with COVID Curfew in place, the Market is all the more overcrowded from 6 am to 10 am  with people, who are eager to finish off their purchases in quick time, haphazardly parking their vehicles on the road itself, thus impeding vehicular movement. 

Also, despite repeated public announcements and warnings, people seem little concerned about following COVID guidelines. With rampant violations of CAB, citizens are worried that such crowded marketplaces may turn out into a COVID hotspot spreading rapidly to rural areas too.

 Last year, the District Administration, as a decongestion measure,  had decentralised the city markets by establishing makeshift markets at the sprawling Dasara Exhibition Grounds, Lalitha Mahal Palace Grounds, Torch-light Parade Grounds in Bannimantap and Raitha Santhe at Ramakrishnanagar. But this year, the authorities have not decentralised the markets.

As only wholesale business is allowed at Dasara Exhibition venue, the business hours in the COVID Curfew period  is limited to just two hours from 6 am to 8 am. On normal days, the business hours used to commence as early as 4 am, with buyers from neighbouring States of Tamil Nadu and Kerala arriving in the wee hours.

 As this ground is a venue for inter-State trading of fruits and vegetables, the business will close at 8 am, following which the MCC’s  Abhaya team will send everyone out and take control of the ground, after making a public announcement. The sellers  are asked to fully cover their unsold fruits and vegetables before they leave the venue.

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As far as the three major markets of the city — Devaraja, Mandi and V.V. Markets — are concerned, business is allowed on an odd-even basis, where shops having odd and even numbers open only on specified days. The odd-even formula has helped in regulating the crowd to some extent at these markets. However, shop-keepers  and the public  question why this rule is not implemented in M.G. Road Vegetable  Market, which is more crowded and prone to becoming a COVID hotspot, with COVID guidelines going for a toss at the venue.

People shop at M.G. Road Vegetable Market without physical distancing.

Vegetable vendors fear losses

With the Government allowing only a four-hour window for markets to function, push-cart and street vendors have become vulnerable to losses. Small vendors doing business in the vicinity of Small Clock Tower are a worried lot over the small period of time. Pointing out that their business will come down as days pass by with people making bulk purchases enough to last for a good number of days, the small vendors fear that their unsold fruits and vegetables may get rotten due to lack of ventilation, as they are tightly covered with plastic covers.


  1. A V Prasanna says:

    What is the use of this time bound lock down? 12 hr business conducted in 4 hrs. Crowd which normally spreads for 12 hrs, gets concentrated in 4 hrs. Social distance takes a tail spin. Stop this nonsense, we Indians are not fit to be indoor.

  2. Common sense dictates that market times can be staggered for as long as needed as priority should shift to ensure wearing masks and to see that the buyers strictly abide by distancing between one another to ensure that the un predictable virus spread of Corona does not victimise them


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