Mumbai: Fashion Street reopens after six-month hiatus
As BMC allows adjacent stalls to remain open on alternate days to avoid crowding, owners start returning to city from their hometowns
One of the most prominent shopping destinations in the city, Fashion Street, in South Mumbai has reopened after six months. The BMC allowed the stalls to resume business under several conditions, including operating on alternate days. The owners, most of whom had returned to their villages, have started returning to the city.
Fashion Street is located on MG Road, opposite Bombay Gymkhana, closed in March this year as the lockdown hit. BMC had not given the stalls to reopen in June — when a number of businesses started opening in phases — to prevent crowding. With stall owners gone, the market also saw thefts in April and May.
Stall owner Kamal Akhtar had been visiting the street every other day. He added that there are hardly any customers. "I barely sell a shirt in a day," he said.
The stalls are allowed to operate between 10 am to 7 pm. Adjacent stalls will be shut on alternate days to avoid the crowding. Stall owners will also have to keep sanitisers and ensure social distancing.
A majority of the stalls are still shut as owners haven't returned from their villages
Mohammad Jahangir Beig, a committee member of the Fashion Street Shopkeepers Union, sells shirts in his stall number 190. He has not returned from his village yet. "I came to my native place in Uttar Pradesh, as the stalls were not allowed to open for so many months. Now it is time to come back. We are trying to book tickets but all trains are full."
"Though Fashion Street has been allowed to reopen, stall owners must follow social distancing norms," said Chanda Jadhav, assistant commissioner of A ward that comprises Fort, Colaba and Churchgate.
Fashion Street was established in 1990 after stalls on the footpaths near Churchgate, CSMT and Metro were moved to MG Road. The market has 398 stalls which mostly sell clothes along with other fashion accessories.
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