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Shopping hub falls silent, hits daily wagers badly

The pungent smell of disinfectants and closed mega retail stores greet stragglers on T Nagar’s Ranganathan Street here, the city’s shopping hub that usually teem with thousands of men, women and children.

Shopping hub falls silent, hits daily wagers badly
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Chennai

The coronavirus scare has snuffed the life out of the bustling street with only a few customers and a couple of security personnel around the closed retail outlets. Apart from these outlets, which sell a range of items right from top clothing brands to sandals, hawkers too are conspicuous by their absence on the busy Usman Road in T Nagar.


In front of the shut stores, a couple of security personnel were seen telling the few customers who turned up that the outlets will open once the threat dissipates.


Notices were also prominently displayed about the closure due to the coronavirus. A board has been put at the sprawling Panagal Park, a popular hangout in T Nagar for shoppers and the public alike, announcing that the place was shut as part of precautionary measures to tackle the virus.


There also not many visitors to the adjacent shopping area of Pondy Bazaar, which recently got a facelift with a pedestrian plaza.


The usual police personnel around the lanes and bylanes of the busy shopping area were comparatively less in numbers.


The ubiquitous autorickshaw drivers on the street said they have been affected in a big way. “Shoppers are our key customer base and we don’t know for how long we have to endure this ordeal,” said one of them. Sanitation workers said the virus prevention measures have made their jobs more tough as much was expected from them. Besides sanitation workers, vehicles fitted with disinfectant dispensers were deployed in downtown streets to carry out fumigation.

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