Markets in Kashmir are abuzz with activity on Saturday as people went on a shopping spree in preparation for Eid-ul Fitr, which will be celebrated early next week, to mark the culmination of Muslim fasting month of Ramzan, officials said.
A good footfall of customers was seen at bakery shops, mutton outlets, chicken vendors, readymade garments and crockery stores, officials said.
Unlike in the past, traffic movement in Lal Chowk city centre was very well managed but other areas of the city witnessed massive traffic snarls due to Eid shopping rush.
The business on eve of Eid comes after two years of shut down due to covid pandemic but the levels of activity are still nowhere close to the pre-pandemic level of 2019, the local businessmen said.
“There is some appetite for shopping among the people but it is not same as it was before COVID-19. We have been in lockdown state for the past three years now,” said Shahid Khan, a businessman.
Irfan Bhat, owner of a bakery and confectionary chain, said the sales were better than last year. “I hope this is a precursor to economic recovery,” he added.
People, however, were unhappy that prices of all the goods have gone up significantly on Eid eve.
“Prices of all the eatables have gone up by 20 to 30 per cent. Even mutton, for which government has fixed rate of Rs 535 per kilogram is being sold at Rs 650 per kilogram. Where is the government? Why are there no checks?” Asif Bhat, a resident of Indira Nagar, said.
Government on its part says it has formed special squads to keep a check on quality of goods being sold as well the prices in the market.
Eid-ul Fitr will be celebrated either on Monday or Tuesday depending on the sighting of crescent on Sunday.