As the countdown for Eid-ul-Azha has begun, the markets, particularly selling sacrificial animals, across Kashmir valley, including in summer capital Srinagar, wore a festive look as people have come out in large numbers to shop.
However, there are no fixed prices of any commodities and items, which are being sold by the traders and vendors at higher rates.
With just two days left for the festival, which will be celebrated on Wednesday across the country, bakers, shopping centers and ready-made garment markets witnessed a brisk rush of customers in the valley, where people are doing their last minute shopping.
The main business hubs of the city, including Regal Chowk, Hari Singh High Street (HSHS), Batmaloo, Moulana Azad Road, Residency Road and Dalgate witnessed a heavy rush of shoppers, leading to traffic chaos at some major routes. Traffic policemen had a tough time managing the traffic today.
Despite hot and humid weather, throughout the day people from all age groups, including women and men, could be seen buying new clothes — kids wear, fashionable women and men — besides household items in Srinagar. “The market was slow till yesterday, but today good number of customers have come out to shop. We expect similar customer turnout tomorrow as well. Hopefully we will have good business this Eid,” Abdul Rashid, a shopkeeper from Lal Chowk, told UNI.
As few roads witness heavy traffic jams, some customers told UNI that they prefer to shop during the evening as the rush of shoppers lessens during that time.
“Things have become very expensive after the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the state. However, as Eid is round the corner, we have to buy clothes for our children and other family members,” Anjum Shah, a Srinagarite, told UNI.
She also alleged that the government has failed to keep a check on the rate of bakery items as the bakers are charging extortionate rates.
Roadside vendors have also setup their stalls from court road to Lambert Lane, Regal chowk, though it has badly affected the traffic movement on the busy historic Lal Chowk road.
Meanwhile, Bakarwals, besides mutton deals have set up their stalls to sell sacrificial animals at various markets in different parts of the valley, including Srinagar’s Eidgah, Jahingir chowk and Rainawari. People could be seen buying sacrificial animals, including goats and sheep, in these markets.
However, despite claims by the government that profiteering is being checked, the traders are selling sacrificial animals on rates higher than set by authorities.
Main markets in other districts, including Anantnag, Shopian, Kulgam, Pulwama in south; Ganderbal, Budgam in central and Kupwara, Baramulla, Bandipora in north Kashmir witnessed heavy rush of customers. These markets have witnessed a drastic change in the last about a decade with respect to availability of leading brands in the world.
The prices of vegetables, including local “Saag” has witnessed sharp increase during the past about a month. A kg of ‘Saag’ is being sold at Rs 50 to Rs 60 against just Rs 20 to Rs 30 few months back. Similarly, the prices of tomato and other vegetables had witnessed increase. The official rate of meat is Rs 400, but it is being sold at Rs 420 in Kashmir valley, particularly in the city. Meanwhile, cheese is being sold at Rs 220 against the official rate of Rs 200.