Despite Eased Curbs, Bengaluru Is Still Far From What's Considered Normal

Coronavirus Lockdown: Footfalls were still low in shops in Bengaluru with anxiety, lack of public transport and possibly, lack of spending money, keeping customers away.

Despite Eased Curbs, Bengaluru Is Still Far From What's Considered Normal

Coronavirus Lockdown: Bengaluru's notorious traffic has not yet reached its peak.

Bengaluru:

Long queues are still seen outside Bengaluru's liquor shops. On the first day of sales, Monday, a whopping Rs 45 crore of sales were made. Tuesday saw even higher sales of Rs 197 crore - a relief to the state government which had been bleeding revenue since the nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of coronavirus was announced in March.

But footfalls were still low in other shops with anxiety, lack of public transport and possibly, lack of spending money, keeping customers away.

In east Bengaluru's Dodda Banaswadi, shopkeeper Ganga Singh Choudhary said, "The lockdown has affected us so much. My sales have not even hit Rs 500 since I opened. I have to pay salaries to the staff and rent for the shop, and the electricity bill. Customers are not coming in. There was only one customer today who spent Rs 200."

But Bengaluru's notorious traffic has not yet reached its peak.

The city's civic body had been earlier issued an order announcing a fine of Rs 1,000 for people not wearing a mask. But the state government has now made the fine Rs 200 for municipal and Rs 100 for non-municipal areas.

Bharani, a resident who uses a motorcycle, told NDTV, "It is a good initiative. Everyone should wear masks and be aware of the situation. They need to take care of themselves."

"It is a good thing, if you ask me," said Prema, another resident seen in a mask. "It is very good if everyone wears a mask, from children to the elderly. If we follow the law, it would be good. But many people are going around without masks. I have scolded many people. We must realise it is for our own sake," she said.

Bharat, another Bengaluru resident, said the fines were a good idea. "I agree 100 per cent. They need to fine people. Everyone should follow this. India is saving a critical situation. They should collect fine from whoever is not wearing (a mask) and take severe action against them," he said.

Even with several relaxations, Bengaluru is still far from what was considered normal. Between 7 am and 7pm, there are many more people out on the streets - with and without masks. But the city still has the Red Zone tag or areas with a significant number of COVID-19 cases. Karnataka has reported 671 coronavirus cases so far, including 29 deaths.