Almost two weeks after the West Bengal Government decided to open sweet shops for a window of four hours, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has declared an extension of time for the same on Thursday. The CM herself stated that shops selling sweets will be open from 8 am to 4 pm from Friday.
Sweetmeat makers in West Bengal have welcomed the state government's decision to allow their shops to operate from 8 am to 4 pm, an extension from its earlier noon-4pm window, amid the lockdown imposed by the government to combat COVID-19, however, ground realities seemed different.
A salesman from a reputed sweet shop in South Kolkata's Rashbehari spoke of the high risk involved in dealing with customers at this point.
"Sale is doing fine but I don't that the decision to increase the time is a correct one. Earlier it was for four hours and now its from 8 am to 4 pm. It is risky. We have to stay here for more time and meet more people." said the salesman at the famous sweet joint at Rashbehari.
Although, the shop has been turned into a 'take away' joint only, and marks have been made to maintain a bare minimum distance between customers, the salesmen of the shop had major concerns over their safety. "We are wearing gloves and giving parcels, we do not know who is coming from where. We are coming in contact with customers." said another salesman at the same sweet shop.
The decision to expand the time seemed sensible to a few customers who were buying products from the shop. A customer was of the opinion that an expansion in time will not lead to the gathering of people, which will be beneficial to all.