Social Distance Please !

Anxious DC’s appeal to people after rush in markets on Varamahalakshmi festival eve

Mysore/Mysuru: Nothing gets India excited like the festivals do and it is a good thing. Although businesses have been experiencing a slump due to COVID-19, markets are witnessing a rush since the last two days due to the  auspicious festival of Varamahalakshmi that falls today.

Every year, the festival season begins with Varamahalakshmi Vrata followed by festival of Bakrid, Raksha Bandhan, Sri Krishna Janmashtami, Gowri Ganesha, Moharram and then Onam, culminating with Navaratri or Dasara. 

People thronged J.K. Grounds two days before the first-of-the-lot Varamahalakshmi Festival to purchase flowers and fruits. To avoid crowds at the heritage Devaraja Market and other markets due to COVID-19 pandemic, the flower market was shifted to the sprawling Jeevarayanakatte or J.K. Grounds near the city Railway Station. 

Norms gone with the wind

The District Administration and the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) had made arrangements at the venue for the vendors and buyers enabling them to maintain social distancing. But to the shock of the officials, huge rush was witnessed and yesterday, the crowds were literally unmanageable throwing all the social distancing norms into thin air. 

While people jostled for space amidst the crowd to purchase festival flowers and fruits at the cheapest possible rates, the vendors, equally enthusiastic, wanted to empty their stocks quickly with an eye on profits. The victim, however, was social distancing, defeating the very purpose of shifting the flower market to J.K. Grounds. 

Expressing his shock and disbelief at the rush amidst the pandemic, Mysuru Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G. Sankar told Star of Mysore this morning that people still are not serious about the COVID-19 virus. “How much can the Government do? People, despite rising deaths and daily spike in infections in Mysuru, are not bothered. They are not scared and in the process, they are giving way for the virus to spread,” he said. 

“Fruits and vegetables are essentials required for sustenance during this Coronavirus crisis. With mandis and markets becoming a hotspot for the virus, the spread of the virus could become difficult to stop. And this is the reason why the markets were shifted to J.K. Grounds. Sadly, the purpose is defeated,” he rued.  

DC appeal

COVID is risky because people spread the disease without being aware of it. “It looks like the Varamahalakshmi purchase at J.K. Grounds is a super-spreader. If people do not watch out and don’t maintain social distancing, things might lead to chaos in the coming days. Now that the Government has literally lifted all restrictions except swimming pools and

cinemas, people must be more vigilant. I humbly request the people to maintain social distance, sanitise and wear face masks as they are the only way we can prevent its spread,” he added. 

MCC Commissioner Gurudatta Hegde said that today, July 31, is the last day for markets at J.K. Grounds and from tomorrow they will be back at the regular markets.

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