Srinagar: The evening festivities of Ramzan may brighten up in Kashmir from the coming week as the commercial hubs here have decided to keep markets open till late during the last spell of the holy month.
Even as Muslim dominated places elsewhere, across the globe, witness nightlife when markets remain open throughout night during the fasting month, Kashmir had often been exception to his trend as the markets here traditionally close before the fast is broken at sundown.
But this time, shops will stay open atleast till 10:00 PM from June 27 till Arfah in the City center areas while a similar plan is on cards for historic old City, the Shaher-e-Khaas.
Confirming the development, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) Media Head Farhan Kitab said the evening shopping would suit the shoppers. This year the temperature remained high during daytime while traffic jams equally affected the prospects of shopping in the commercial hub, so we though why not offer our esteemed customers an option for the evening shopping, Kitab said.
The KTMF President Muhammad Yasin Khan said the evening festivities during Ramzan would long have been a reality but that the turmoil coupled with government failure to provide requisite facilities didnt let the plans take off.
You dont have proper street lighting while public transport doesnt ply in the late hours… So how can you expect Kashmir to be like other Muslim dominated places, he asked adding, Moreover, you have security issues in conflict zones.
People dont feel convenient to walk down the roads flooded with bunkers and troopers, he added.
He said given the practical restrains, the market operations have been extended till 10:00 PM.
Apart from the civil lines, the congested old City, the Shaher-e-Khaas has a similar plan in place. The Jamia Market at Nowhatta and Zaina Kadal bazaaar are also scheduled to be open till late.
Kashmirs head priest and senior separatist leader Mirwaiz Dr Umer Farooq has long been asking the business community to keep markets open till late at night during the fasting month. Mirwaiz believes that such endeavor would traditionally connect Kashmir with the rest of the Muslim world. If Muslims elsewhere work at night during Ramzan, why cannot we? he has been arguing before the trade community.
Meanwhile given the plan of the traders to keep markets open till late Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is understood to have asked the administration to ensure requisite facilities, particularly lighting and transportation, are well in place.
Sources said the Chief Minister is herself keen to see the markets open till late.
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