Day Before Eid, Kashmir Market Presents Mixed Response

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by Faisal Ahmed

SRINAGAR: On the eve of Eid, as crowds move out, the busy streets and markets depict the festivities around. A difficult time for traffic cops to manage the movements, specifically on the critical junctions, a day before Eid, arfa presented mixed consumer-buyer response.

People busy shopping on the eve of the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Fitr in Srinagar, on June 4, 2019. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

From city central’s Jahangir chowk to Amira Kadal, the markets were seen fully packed. People out along with the families were busy in managing the last minute shopping. Food items, as usual, were the most sought after.

The longest queues were found outside Bakery & confectionary shops, mutton and chicken owners and other eatable stores. The approved rate lists, customers allege were not adhered to and given the demand, the customers were overcharged. However, this did not deter them to be part of the process.

Busy in managing the grocery, the scene outside almost every food outlet was crowded. New in the market, a famous bakery outlet owner was visibly perturbed to manage the unending crowd. “I didn’t expect such response and as if the buyers are in a panic to get things quickly.

Amir, a cashier at royal sweets, said the Ramzan has remained a dull season but the “last three days have been huge. Confectionary is essential for celebration’

The readymade garment shops had a mixed response. Top Stylish Fashion, a children and ladies cloth store, had substantial footfall, Owner of this recently opened store, Mansoor told Kashmir Life that he had reasonable footfall but on the last day there was slight decrease. “Women keep them involved in cooking and household works, staying away from shopping,” he believes.

As the market proceeds, In the ally of Amira Kadal, where dry fruits vendor has taken over the position, Parvez was busy handling the customers, selling dry fruits, according to him business process in their shop and mostly of dry fruit vendors, differs in the month of Ramazan to the rest of the month. In Ramzan dates are the staple sale whereas in other days business surrounds for marriages and functions where a large number of baskets and boxes with dry fruits and sweets are sold. The shift in business begins with the arrival of Kashmir as dates considered basic necessary of Ramzan.

Crowds were thin on Srinagar streets on June 4, 2019, a day ahead of the Eid ul Fitr. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

A group of shop owners, however, claimed that there is no mood of buying in the customers. Shahnaz Hussain, a dry fruit vendor says that the overall mood is not that high. “There has been a decrease in overall market activity,” Hussain argues that the disturbing situation in rural areas have impacted the city sales.

His nearby shop owner, Asif says people have started to come and the business has picked.  “People from different areas has started to visit Srinagar and have started shopping now. If demand increases we would be open till 11 in the night”

An old man out in the market, Gulam Rasool, believes the purchasing power within the public has reduced which is affecting the business severely. “It’s 3 pm in the evening and I have sold only one suit worth 600, the market has been completely dead.”

As the day proceeded, there was a huge rush out on every street. The youngsters were throttling their bikes and elders busy in ensuring to take everything home.

The lanes, by-lanes of the old city were stuck with huge jams giving the difficult time for pedestrians to move out.

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