Karwan Bazar, one of the largest kitchen markets of Dhaka, has been declared shut for retailers, but very few sellers are complying with the order.
Most vendors are still selling commodities in the market which has a good number of customers.
However, a handful of sellers have shifted to the road in front of the Government Science College in Tejgaon – the new place for Karwan Bazar retailers. There is also a thin presence of customers there.
Retailers in Karwan Bazar said most customers are not aware of the new place, and that the authorities should publicise the existence of the new venue.
They also said they fear losing their places in Karwan Bazar once they shift to the new market.
This correspondent visited both Karwan Bazar and the market in front of the Government Science College on Wednesday.
He observed a large number of customers in the Karwan Bazar retail market who claimed to have come to buy essential items for the upcoming Ramadan – the holy month of fasting for Muslims.
A fruit seller named Mohiuddin in front of the Government Science College said most retailers who have a place in Karwan Bazar are reluctant to shift here.
"Because, they fear that if they move, they might not get their old places back after the lockdown is withdrawn," he added.
There is always competition in Karwan Bazar to get places at the front where sales are good, added Mohiuddin, who also holds a place in Karwan Bazar market.
However, customers hailed the decision of shifting the market to an open place where maintaining social distancing is easier than in the Karwan Bazar kitchen market.
Dr Takib Uddin, a buyer in front of the Tegaon science college, said, "It is a good initiative as we are now able to buy necessities by maintaining enough distance from other buyers."
Earlier, the retail market in the capital's Karwan Bazar area was closed to prevent coronavirus infections among traders and workers there. And retailers were asked to shift to the road in front of the Tejgaon science college.
Police took the decision on Tuesday after six traders and workers tested positive to Covid-19.
The roads to Karwan Bazar kitchen market were closed with bamboo fences.
However, wholesale trade will continue in the market following a new schedule. Wholesalers can sell vegetables and food from 9pm to 2am every day while fish wholesalers will be allowed to trade between 4am and 9am.
Abul Hasnat Khandaker, officer-in-charge (Operations) of Tejgaon Police Station told The Business Standard that the initiative has been taken to ensure social distancing.
Earlier, two sheds of the vegetable market had been shut a couple of weeks ago as two businessmen tested positive to the virus.