Further relaxing the restrictions on sweet shops in the state, the West Bengal government allowing it to remain open for eight hours every day. Known for its exquisite sweet delicacies, the variety of sweets and desserts available in the region is quintessentially an integral part of the average Bengali meal.
The long queues outside sweet shops in Kolkata and other parts of the state to get packets of sandesh, rasgula, mishti doi and many other such sweets despite the strict lockdown measures speaks to why their opening was essential. In addition to this, the online delivery of sweets is also permitted in the state.
On March 20, the Mamata Banerjee-led government had allowed the sweet shops to remain open from 12 noon to 4 p.m.
'Sweet' decision for the sweet shops
The new decision to keep the sweet shops open throughout the week for eight hours has been welcomed with much enthusiasm.
While the nation imposes more strict measures to keep the public stay at home, allowing only the most essential services like grocery, medical shops and likewise to remain open; the Bengal government has pulled the curtains to quench the thirst for these sweet syrups.
Kolkata reports the highest COVID cases in Bengal
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the total reported cases of coronavirus in Bengal rose to 255 apart from the 10 death cases. Kolkata had the highest number of Covid-19 cases at 29 confirmed infections.
Seemingly disregarding this terrifying spectre, the fresh relaxation was announced by the Chief Minister taking in view the requests by the sweet shop owners.
"They have told us that the 12 noon to 4 p.m slot is inconvenient for them, as a lot of buyers don't come in the afternoon. So from now on, sweet shops will remain open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.," Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told the media.
Meanwhile, many netizens vexed by the decision, questioned the unneeded priority on the move, provided these sweet shops are no necessary service during the crisis.
Are sweet shops a priority?
The initial decision to let sweet shops open helped to treat the plight of the milkmen who were compelled to throw almost two lakh litres of milk every day due to the shutting off these sweet shops.
Of the three lakh litres of milk produced in the state more than 60 per cent is consumed by the sweetmeat shops.
Keeping the sweet shops open will welcome a huge crowd of people in the stalls. The government, therefore, has to bring in austere measures to manage the crowd, proving the decision to let open the stall was no-nonsense.