Valley Witnesses Muted Shopping Ahead of Eid

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Citing Inflation, People Reluctant To Splurge

Srinagar – Commercial activity picked up somewhat in Srinagar and outlying towns a day ahead of Eid on Thursday, with streets and bazaars humming with vehicles and shoppers.

But the rush paled in comparison to the shopping frenzy witnessed in the last days of Ramzan in the run-up to the Eid-ul-Fitr.

People generally cited rising prices and high inflation as reasons for a relatively muted market season.

Recalling long queues and heavy crowds before bakeries and confectionaries on the last Eid, people said that the atmosphere today was almost lukewarm.

“All major bakeries were jam-packed last time, and one was lucky to procure a couple of cakes with two days still to go,” said Nazir Ahmad, a transport operator. “But today, one can shop with ease and in a relaxed manner.”

The demand for poultry, mutton and vegetables was only marginally higher than normal days.

Though the festival was only a day away, shelves were still well-stocked with mouth-watering cakes and pastries, and show-windows overflowing with a variety of biscuits and sweetmeats.   

Though buyers visited garment stores and footwear shops, sales were nowhere as high as the end of Ramzan.

The long and interminable traffic jams of the last occasion were noticeable by their absence.

In central Srinagar, the only difficult drive was the short stretch between the Polo View Market and the Clock Tower.

“Perhaps route assignments made by the traffic department are working,” said a motorist who remembered getting stuck for two hours last time.

Nauhatta, perhaps the busiest commercial centre in Old Srinagar together with its bridge junctions was teeming with people shopping for furnishings and garments, but had very little problems with traffic.

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