The State Government ahead of the festivals has issued a series of guidelines with even restricting height of idols at puja pandals. Organising fairs and cultural events too have been prohibited so as to check the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the State. However, the biggest concern for the authorities is overcrowded markets, as people are seen violating the Covid safety guidelines.
A visit to some of the markets reflects the huge rush of people, especially at clothes and garments shops. Covid safety rules have gone for a toss at the city's biggest commercial hub Upper Bazar. Overcrowding of people, traders, labourers is evident at Upper Bazar. Adding to worry about this is people flocking these market hubs with their family members. Most of the people are seen not wearing masks or any type of protective gears.
At Rangrez Gali, which houses the city's biggest cosmetic markets, women and girls can be seen busy shopping without wearing any masks or any other protective gears.
Vishnu Sharma, owner of a cosmetic shop at Rangrez Gali said, "In our shop we have taken all safety measures such as staff wearing masks, regular use santitisers among others. But, many times people visit the shop without wearing masks. We can only urge these people to follow Covid guidelines, but it is the people who have to follow it."
Sharma said, “At our shop entrance gate we have put up notice 'no entry without masks,' but people are hardly following it.” Same is the situation at Main Road. People can easily be seen shopping without wearing masks. Also, many people are not wearing the masks in a proper way.
As Main Road houses several roadside hawkers selling clothes to every essential item they are the lot who are not following the Covid guidelines properly.
As it is Durga Puja people are out with their shopping bags to buy goodies for their family.
With the entire State entering the puja mode and festive season shopping going on in full swing the State is already witnessing a spike in Covid 19 numbers. Experts have already cautioned that the upcoming festivals may further add to the rising number of Covid 19 cases.
The district administration has restricted the entry of a large number of people at pandals, but it is expected that crowds at these puja pandals will go up in coming days.
However, the puja committees are in no mood to give any relaxation in government guidelines.
Ranchi Mahanagar Durga Puja committee convener Munchun Rai said, "We have asked all puja committees to follow government guidelines on Covid. Entry of people will be restricted if a large crowd gathers at puja pandals." Rai also said that they are also not allowing any one to set up food stalls near the pandals.
On Thursday, the district administration issued show cause notices to three Puja committees for not following the Covid guidelines. These include Namkum puja committee, Ranchi Railway station puja committee and Kokar puja committee.