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Ahead of festive season, large crowds throng popular mkts in city

Ahead of festive season, large crowds throng popular mkts in city
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New Delhi/Gurugram: With the festive season approaching and the COVID-19 pandemic showing no signs of slowing down in Delhi and its neighbouring cities, residents seem to have thrown caution to the wind in their excitement and hope for the upcoming months, crowding some of the most popular markets.

Pictures from the Sarojini Nagar market and the Lajpat Nagar market showed large and packed crowds on Sunday. However, traders and shopkeepers in these markets were overjoyed with business finally showing signs of picking up after a better part of this year was spent counting losses.

"Customers have increased by 10 to 15 per cent compared to last month. We are hoping that the festive season will be good for both business and footfall," says Prem Goel, a shopkeeper at the Sarojini Nagar Market.

"With the festive season starting, crowds have started pouring in. We covered 70 to 80 per cent sales yesterday. We are hoping for a good weekend," says VK Gupta, VP, Lajpat Nagar Traders Association.

As festival occasions get ushered in Gurugram, this weekend huge crowds of people were seen stepping out and shopping at several prominent markets and shopping malls in the city.

After a long time, traffic congestion in busy city streets was seen with a lot of vehicles coming out on roads. Areas where large crowds were seen included Sadar Bazaar, Jacob Pura, DLF Galleria, Sector-31 market, MG Road and Sohna Road.

With a few more weeks left for Diwali, most shopkeepers expressed hope for increased crowds and profits.

Though not on a grand scale, several religious traditions and fairs have also begun in Gurugram. Despite precautions, a lot of devotees are coming out to pay their obeisance. Celebrated earlier with great fervour, there are also plans to celebrate Durga Puja in several parts of Gurugram this year amid the pandemic.

"As compared to previous festive occasions, the amount of rush is still less. Having suffered a great amount of loss in the last several months we are banking upon these few months to cover up our losses. We hope that the situation of COVID-19 improves further in the city so that more people can come out and shop," said Rajan Singla, one of the shop owners in Sadar Bazaar.

Starting from October, Gurugram has been reporting in excess of 250 COVID-19 cases every day. On several occasions, Gurugram has also recorded cases nearing the 300-figure-mark.

"As a responsible and concerned citizen, I am taking precautions wearing a mask, maintaining reasonable distance and also washing hands on a regular basis. I have, however, begun to come and do the shopping for festival time," said Ridhima Anand, a resident of Princeton Estate Gurugram.

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