70% of shops begin operation in Ponda

People making purchases at a hardware store in Ponda. Adjoining mobile store also seen open.

Ponda: With the state announcing relaxation in lockdown, almost 70 per cent of shops in Ponda have begun operation. Almost all types of shops and businesses have begun operation this week except for wine stores, and saloons. Even hotels and shops dealings with food items such as sweet marts and others too have started takeaway services.

Most of these shops are standalone. Shops at market complexes, shopping malls and superstores still continue to remain closed.

Presently, some rush is witnessed at hardware stores, electronic shops and shops dealing with construction items as the people are focused on completing pre-monsoon works.

Due to the lockdown, pre-monsoon work being annually undertaken by households has been delayed, while some construction works are left incomplete and the concerned people are focusing on completing the works.

Customers were seen at the mobile shops – for repairing their non-functional or damaged cell phones or buying new ones as they couldn’t do it during the earlier lockdown period.

Though people’s movement has increased in the town, most of the shopkeepers are claiming less business.

“Present situation is like we have newly opened up a shop and awaiting for customers for business. It will take a lot of time for the situation to normalize and get back proper business,” a prominent businessman dealing in textiles said while speaking to this daily.

Issues such as no public transport, restrictions on traveling in private vehicles, wearing of face masks and strict adherence to social distancing have affected the  business in a big way.

On the other hand, business is less due to unavailability of material at  many shops.

“As transportation from other states is not allowed, many shops and establishments are running out of stock. Due to which despite of demand, business has been hit,”  shop owners said.