Srinagar’s Sunday market still shut

Srinagar: Despite the easing of the coronavirus lockdown, the weekly flea market in Srinagar, commonly known as the Sunday Market, remains closed since March this year.
The district administration has allowed opening of markets in Srinagar on alternative days but vendors are not being allowed to put up stalls for the Sunday market at Lal Chowk and adjoining areas.
Mohammad Shafia, a trader who lives at Dalgate, told Kashmir Reader that vendors who did business at the Sunday market have earned nothing in the past three months.
“This is the peak season for our business. People come to Sunday market in thousands to buy a variety of things. I own four spots in the Sunday market and almost 10 people work under me. Their livelihood has been destroyed first by the lockdown last year post abrogation of Article 370 and now due to this pandemic,” he said.
A vendor, Asif Ahmad, said, “We were doing business only on Sunday but for the past three months the Sunday market is closed. Who knows when it will open. Our winter as well as summer stock is lying in godowns unsold.”
Tariq Ahmad, another vendor, said that he tried to sell his goods – second-hand clothes – on a cart but people did not show much interest.
“There are more than 2,500 families whose earnings come from the Sunday market,” he said.
There are also many tailors who earned by doing alteration work on clothes at the Sunday market. One of them is Mohamad Ayoub. He said that for the past five years he has been doing repair and alteration work on clothes at the Sunday market to earn a livelihood.
“I only know this work, so I can only wait for the market to re-open. Who knows when this situation will become normal,” Ayoub said.
Apart from vendors and tailors, persons who did ironing of second-hand clothes sold at the Sunday market have also been left without any work or income for three months now.

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