Kolkata: With Bengal's biggest festival only a few days away, almost all the market places and shopping malls are witnessing a surge of footfall. The number is expected to increase by few times during the next weekend.
People have begun to throng various shops from the very afternoon. The number of puja shoppers goes up towards the evening. As the weather is cloudy in some parts of the city, many people have not been able to decide whether to venture out or not.
As it did not rain till the evening on Sunday, people in large numbers started thronging various markets for clothes, shoes and other items for purchase.
All the Esplanade-bound Metros were more crowded than on normal days. Most of the shoppers were seen getting down at Esplanade Metro station to do their shopping.
It is expected that all the roads in the city will lead to Kolkata's shopping destinations in the next few days with the countdown to Durga Puja already beginning. It is a festival when people splurge on new clothes, shoes and love to have good food while indulging in pandal hopping.
Dharmatala, New Market area, Park Street, Gariahat, Shyambazar are among the places that is witnessing huge footfall of puja buyers.
Various shopping malls situated in the city and adjoining areas are also decked up.
The different shops have also come up with their best offers to woo the buyers.
The road-side eateries and restaurants are also
making good money as many of the shoppers are visiting different food stalls to have their favourite dishes, besides shopping.
It may be mentioned here that there was additional police force on Sunday. It is never easy for the cops to manage such huge crowds rushing towards the market places. The Kolkata Police have demarcated a particular place for the passers-by at different locations with the roads remaining clear. Policemen were deployed at all the important locations in plain clothes to check any untoward incident. There had been incidents of eve-teasing and molestation in the crowded areas in the past. This time around, the police have not left any stone unturned to strengthen the security measures.
Sonali Dey, who came for shopping at Gariahat from Panchanantala in Dhakuria said people are already soaked in the spirit of Durga Puja. Dey, an English Honours student from a South Kolkata college, added that her puja shopping is almost complete and Sunday, being the last weekend before Mahalaya, witnessed huge rush.