Srinagar: With main commercial hub Lal Chowk yet to come to terms with the devastation caused by recent floods, Kashmir saw an estimated loss of Rs 1000 crore in the run-up to Eid-ul-Adha. On this occasion, business fraternity believed that sales have dropped by 90 percent as majority of the Valley got affected by the deluge.
“People aren’t in a position to buy merchandise on Eid as floods devastated us. So there are no prospective shoppers in markets. The sales have dipped by 90 percent and we have suffered a loss of 1000 crore on this occasion,” chairman of a faction of Kashmir Economic Alliance, Mohammad Yasin Khan, told Kashmir Reader on Sunday.
Khan, who also heads Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, said that 463 bakery shops were closed in Srinagar on Eid eve due to floods. “On festive occasions, bakery shops used to witness a sale of Rs 20 lakh for a day. Out of 500 such shops in Srinagar, only 37 are open. The hubs of shopping such as Hari Singh High Street, Poloview, Amira Kadal, Karan Nagar, Maisuma, Residency Road, etc are closed. We will resume our jobs after Eid.
“People used to buy new vehicles on Eid, but the sales have dropped. Hawkers used to make good money but they too are witnessing losses. Every commercial sector has got hit,” he added.
Though not touched by the deluge, the markets in downtown Srinagar too witnessed slump in businesses. The otherwise jam-packed sheep mandis such as Eidgah too witnessed low demand for qurbani and rates too have dropped in absence of prospective buyers. The otherwise crowded mutton and poultry shops on festive occasions too saw low customer turnout.
“Both retail and wholesale mutton dealers suffered loss of Rs 40 crore. We had given advance money for our supplies but it didn’t reach on time. People aren’t interested to buy qurbani as losses are quite high. We have sold our qurbani stock at lowest rates as there’s no rush. People who used to buy 5-6 sheep are buying 1-2,” said president All Kashmir Butchers Union, Khazir Mohammad Rigoo.
“Before floods, people who used to shop around Lal Chowk for Eid festivals today thronged downtown markets, but the sales have plunged by 70 percent. We offered discount but still shoppers are missing. There’s no rush in Jamia Market, otherwise a famous haunt of shoppers,” said president Nowhatta Traders Federation, Mohammad Jamal, adding that people were only looking for essential commodities.
“Our sales stayed around Rs 1.5 lakh for a day on Eid occasion. But today the scene is different. People are not interested to buy new things and sales have dipped drastically,” said Fahim Ahmad Malik, the owner of Fashion House, in Jamia Market.