Demand for candles surges in flood-hit Kashmir

SRINAGAR: In the flood-hit Kashmir Valley, candles were the only means of light to the families that have been living in top floors of their partially submerged homes for more than a week, adding to the demanded for this otherwise discarded traditional source.
The electricity supply to flooded areas of uptown and downtown here was cut off last week to prevent loss the life. It forced the people staying back in their inundated homes to use candles for lighting after the sunset.
The excessive demand for the candles thus caused has exhausted the stocks maintained by the retailers and wholesalers across Srinagar.
“In less than a week, my stock of candles was sold out as everybody in the flood-hit areas was using candles. Chinese electric gadgets has pushed candles out of the market, but floods brought the traditional wax candles back in demand,” Muhammad Ishaq, who owns a grocery shop at Habbakadal here, told Kashmir Reader. “Even I had to use candles in my shop in evenings.”
The demand has, however, declined with the authorities restoring electricity to several areas, said Ishaq.
Siraj Ahmad, who has been in an under-construction shopping complex at Durganag Barbarshah since his house became submerged, said the candles have been the only means of light in the area.
“In the entire locality, one can see the candle lights only in the evenings. And the situation is almost the same in all the relief camps around here as government has failed to set up generators,” he said.
In partially or least affected areas too, the candles are providing relief during power cuts that have become more frequent since the flood occurred.
Bilal Ahamd Wani, a resident of Kalashpora here, said the electricity supply to their area was affected after the receiving station at Bagh-I- Dilawar Khan got submerged.
“All other sources of lighting got exhausted, and we had to switch over to candles,” he said, hoping that the power supply will be restored once the flood situation eases.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, in an interview with Radio Kashmir, said the efforts were on to restore the electricity supply.