To combat the rally-rain blues, Kolkata shops open early and close late.

Traders in central Kolkata are open early, close late to make up for losses from back-to-back traffic choker political rallies . Shops account for about 15% of Shashthis annual income on average .

KOLKATA (US): In the run-up to the festive season, most traders in central Kolkata are open early, close late, in order to make up for losses from back-to-back traffic choker political rallies on almost all weekdays, as well as intermittent periods of rain.Be it inside the New Market, Sreeram Arcade, Traders Island, or hawkers filling pavement spaces at the Oberoi Grand arcade or on Lindsay Street and Bertram Street, everybody has been causing disruption during the peak afternoon and evening hours.We have had to alter our opening hours because there have been no customers in the late morning and afternoon due to blocked streets in the central business district as a result of political demonstrations, said Ajay Gupta, a shop owner at New Market.In the evening, we are seeing a rise in customer footfall.

I made my first purchase on Thursday, but only after 6 p.m., when the situation deteriorated and customers began to trickle in, he recalled.Om Prakash Pandey, who owns a shop in Sreeram Arcade, has also extended the closing date.The market closes at 9 p.m. on Thursday.However, a group of shop owners have formed a WhatsApp group in recent days, and we call the closing time based on the evening footfall.

After a diversion, walking from Babughat to Esplanade.Since the BJP's violent march on September 13, which paralysed the heart of the shopping district, there have been a variety of political and apolitical rallies on Esplanade every day.Shops account for about 15% of Shashthi's annual income on average.In the run-up to puja, these rallies greatly hampered the business community.

But cops diverted our bus to Babughat, and we had to walk down from there until the Esplanade.Sudipto Sarkar, a Howrah resident who was spotted in New Market, said, We were stuck in a traffic jam for a long time on Friday.We were lucky to finish shopping by evening.On the other hand, hawkers on the escalade are also feeling the rally pressure.

According to Akhileshwar Prasad, a hawker at the Grand arcade, we will be open until 11 p.m. at times, about an hour after the last Metro.Even when rallies saved the city, the weather decided to spoil it.Customers were moved indoors on many occasions due to intermittent rain.On Monday, Kaushik Das, a Lindsay Street hawker, said, There were no rallies last Monday, but it rained so heavily in the afternoon that our company was greatly affected.