Guwahati: Scores of Guwahati residents were seen thronging a bustling bazaar along the National Highway-37 in Garchuk in the early morning hours of Saturday, August 8. This is in complete violation of the ongoing "weekend lockdown" that has been imposed in Guwahati by the State Government to curb the rampant spread of the coronavirus.
The district administration has made it amply clear that bazaars and markets have been banned until the coronavirus crisis clears up. Moreover, the hawking of wares on the streetside has also been banned by the administration.
Although the curbs during the weekdays have been partially lifted, the Government has been insisting upon continuing with the lockdown on the weekends in the urban area.
Openly flouting the rules, several small-scale businessmen today conducted business transactions at Garchuk that falls along the National Highway-37 near the city's outskirts.
In the "illegal" bazaar, all the Government-endorsed precautions to prevent a transmission went for a toss, as people were witnessed haggling over prices, jostling with each other for a good deal. All this, many of the participants did without adhering to the anti-COVID-19 protocol measures and wearing of masks.
There are many in the business fraternity who are of the belief that the lockdown, which has clobbered the economy to an almost-irreparable state in India, has overstayed its welcome in Guwahati.
The business owners have questioned that if the shops and establishments can be opened on the weekdays, why are they not being allowed to transact business on weekends when sales are traditionally robust?
The restaurant/eatery owners in the city, especially, been raising an incredible fuss about the weekend lockdown that has been in place since the fag-end of June when the coronavirus boom drove the Government to declare a lockdown on incredibly short notice.