Kashmir’s business centre witnesses lowest footfall of customers in years on Eid-ul-Adha

Srinagar

Unlike other Eids, the city centre market in Srinagar witnessed a decline in customer footfall a day ahead of Eid owing to multiple factors. Traffic is moving smoothly in Lal Chowk and people are surprised to see such a situation.

Observers say that markets in peripheries have grown to the extent that people from rural Kashmir do not feel the need to come to Srinagar for shopping.

A top business analyst attributed the lack of rush to absence of tourist footfall.

Markets are exhibiting low footfalls and the business is yet to pick up as Kashmir celebrates Eid-ul-Azha on Saturday. The Eid shopping would usually start a week ahead.

“For the last few years, the trend is same, not much of shopping and austerity,” shopkeeper Abdul Rashid said. “Currently only the kids wear is in better demand.”

Though the lines outside the bakery houses and mutton shops have started getting long, but the numbers are still fewer. This Eid, unlike the one after month of fasting, has low mutton sale at the shops because animal sacrifices fill the demand gap right from the Eid prayers are over.

Sheep herders are camping at scores of places within and around the city to sell their sheep, and goats. The biggest market for the sacrificial animals is Eidgah where thousands of sheep are sold. At various places on the Srinagar bypass, the goat herders are selling their flocks.

In Parimpora, an animal trader who has been marketing the camels for sacrifices has sold only five animals this year. Earlier he would market almost ten.

Though the government has advanced the pay day for its employees and the people have withdrawn their salaries, it has not improved the overall market.

“Employees work as per the routine budgets of their families,” one shopkeeper said. “They will spend the amount they are supposed to and that is a routine. The real problem is that the sections which were earning handsomely in the private sector were unable to make much this season.”

The main factor in the city is the tourist season failure. This amount, though small, would have an immediate trickledown effect and most of it will get into the market.

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