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Coronavirus hits businesses in Delhi’s Connaught Place

New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) Connaught Place, the commercial complex located in the heart of the national capital which is always crowded and more so in tne evenings on normal days, is now waiting for people and customers as most people are preferring to stay at home amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The sharp decrease in footfalls in one of the busiest markets has resulted in a huge loss to the shopkeepers and restaurant owners.

Vendors who sell items on the footpath have been hit the hardest. A shopkeeper who sells artificial jewellery said earlier sales used to average around Rs 1,500- Rs 2,000 but now after the virus outbreak have come down sharply to only Rs 300-Rs 400.

Pradeep Kumar, who sells toys, said: “The footfall here has come down sharply. Only two or three people come to the shop in an hour while earlier almost a dozen people used to come to the shop in an hour. Those coming to the shop also don’t buy the toys rather they ask the price and go.”

Mujib Ahmad, a mobile accessories seller, said: “I am worried about my room rent. I live near Green Park and pay Rs 12,000 as room rent. For the last 10 days, there has been almost no sale. If this continues, it will be difficult for me to pay my rent this month.”

The auto-drivers have also been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Ramesh, an auto-driver, said: “Earlier we used to get a passenger at an interval of 10 minutes or so but now we have to wait for two hours or even more. Earlier we used to earn Rs 1,500-Rs 2,000 per day but now it is difficult to earn Rs 400-Rs 500.”

(Navneet Mishra can be contacted at navneet.m@ians.in)

–IANS

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