BH CORRESPONDENT, Kolkata: On the day after the Bengal government put in place a plan to fight the coronavirus, Kolkata largely stayed indoors. With schools, colleges, movie halls and other places where people congregate closed and many companies encouraging work from home, the streets on the second working day of the week wore a deserted look, very few willing to take any risks.
Public transport was there, but buses, cabs and local trains went empty. Many autorickshaws, otherwise difficult to come by, went off the roads due to lack of passengers.
“As school, colleges, cinema halls and theater halls along with most tourists spots in the city like the zoo, Victoria Memorial, Birla Planetarium and Indian Museum have been closed, people are staying at home,” said Rajat Pandit, a taxi driver.
Bangladeshis, who account for a bulk of the tourists to the city, were also missing in action. Hospitals that cater to Bangladeshi patients have reported a sharp fall in admissions. Reason: Bengal has closed its borders with that country.
The major markets in the city like New Market, Gariahat Market, Hatibagan and the one at Ultadanga have reported drop in sales with customers preferring to stay away. Though shopping malls are still open, most wore a deserted look on Tuesday evening.
College Street, the hub of educational institutions, also wore a deserted look. Most institutes like Calcutta University, Presidency University, Sanskrit College, Hare School and Hindu School have been ordered shut by the government.
College Street is also a book lover’s paradise with book stalls lining the road. “Sales have dropped drastically in the last one week. We don’t know when we can get back in business,” said Basab Mazumdar, who owns a stall on College Street.