BHUBANESWAR/CUTTACK: Social distancing norms went for a toss in the Twin City of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack on Thursday with people in large numbers thronging different markets to buy clothes, fruits and puja materials on the eve of Sabitri Amabasya.
As the married women are all set to observe Sabitri Brata on Friday for the well-being of their husbands, most of the markets and roads in the Twin City witnessed heavy rush despite restrictions on lockdown.
Most of the decentralised markets set up by Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) remained crowded on Thursday.
People thronged Kalpana fruit vending zone and shops in front of Rasulgarh’s Kochilei haat, which is located close to a screening centre for Odia returnees.A BMC official said the relaxation given for movement of two-wheelers and four-wheelers is one of the primary causes of rush at vending zones.
BMC Deputy Commissioner Subhendu Sahu said nine joint enforcement teams of BMC, BDA and Commissionerate Police visited different market places and haats to prevent overcrowding and ensure social distancing.
In Cuttack, roads stretching from Badambadi to Bajra Kabati Road, Dolamundai to Haripur, Tinikonia Bagicha to Choudhury Bazaar witnessed traffic jam for several hours on the day.
Especially, the shops dealing with clothes, bangles, vermilion, fruits and puja materials were crowded with huge number of buyers.
While most customers did not wear masks, the shopkeepers are found to be allowing them inside their establishments in gross violation of restrictions and standard operating procedure issued by the State Government.
Though Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) claims to have constituted four enforcement squads to crackdown on violators, they are not to be seen in markets.