Mysore/Mysuru: The usually busy and buzzing Central Business District wore a near-deserted look this morning on the first day of the weekend curfew in the new year.
Though grocery, provision, vegetables, food shops and other essential services shops were open in Shivarampet, Santhepet, D. Devaraj Urs Road, K.R. Circle etc., in the heart of the city, most of the shops had only a handful of customers, as people preferred to stay indoors on account of the curfew.
The ever-busy Devaraja Market too witnessed a few customers and vegetable and fruit vendors were seen waiting for customers. Similar was the case in respect of Vanivilas Market at Agrahara Circle and Mandi Market at Mandi Mohalla, the two other major vegetable markets of the city.
With Sankranti, the first major festival of the year, just a week away, many shop-keepers, who were just about returning to their normal business post COVID pandemic, were hoping for a good business. But the curfew seems to have shattered their hopes as business has taken a severe hit due to weekend curfew and other COVID restrictions.
Speaking to Star of Mysore this morning, Devaraja Market Tenants Association President S. Mahadev said that many shops in Devaraja Market sold puja articles and they have shut down due to the District Administration’s order allowing only essential service shops to open during weekend curfew.
Arguing that it is not correct on the part of officials to classify puja articles as non-essential commodity, he maintained that he has come to know that the closure of puja articles shops has led to black-marketing, with unscrupulous elements taking advantage of the situation. Contending that puja articles too be brought under essential commodities, he wanted the authorities to crack down on black marketing of puja articles.
As far as the rest of the scenario is concerned, all shops other than classified as essential services remained closed today. Temples and other places of worship across the city too were closed due to the weekend curfew, it is learnt.
Meanwhile, the Sub-urban and City Bus Stands, which used to be crowded with passengers on normal days, painted an altogether different picture today as there were few passengers at the bus stands.
Sources in the KSRTC said that 50 percent of the buses were operational today, but most of them had to wait for long for passengers to turn up. Buses to Bengaluru, which used to leave the Sub-urban Bus Stand within minutes of each other, had to wait for more than half an hour for passengers.
Similar was the situation in the City Bus Stand, as only a few city buses operated due to lack of passengers. It is learnt that the authorities operated city buses to different localities of the city based on demand and lack of passengers, left the buses parked at the bus stand for long hours.