Srinagar, July 30: Markets remained abuzz for the second day on Thursday with Eid-ul-Azha shoppers in Kashmir valley, including summer capital, Srinagar, where prices of essentials — including goats and sheep for quarbani (sacrifice) besides meat — remained high.
Public transport remained off the roads and all shrines and mosques remained closed. However, private vehicles were seen plying in large numbers on the roads, leading to frequent traffic jams at several places.
The administration in Srinagar had relaxed lock down restrictions for two days from Wednesday to allow people to purchase essentials for the festival being celebrated on August 1. Only essential service shops and other business establishments were ordered to function from 9 am to 6 pm daily. But, other businessmen too were seen doing their normal business.
However, sheep and goat sellers, who had come from different parts of the valley and Jammu division were disappointed due to very low sale as compared to last year when there was total curfew after August 5, when centre scrapped Article 370 and divided the state into two Union Territories (UTs).
Though administration has directed people and shopkeepers to wear masks, maintain physical distancing and take other precautions to avoid further spike in COVID-19 cases, in some cases violations could be noticed in the busy markets.
Bakery and confectionary besides meat and chicken shops witnessed heavy rush for the second day today. However, there was no market checking and essentials, particularly meat was being sold at much higher prices against the government rate.
There was heavy rush of shoppers in number of markets, including Gonikhan, Mahraj Bazar, Hari Singh High Street (HSHS, historic Lal Chowk, Batmaloo, Dalgate saw heavy rush of shoppers. There was hardly any physical distancing being maintained while some people, including women, were seen without masks.
Meat was being sold at Rs 600 per kg in majority areas against the government rate of Rs 400. However, in some areas action had been taken against butchers for selling meat on higher rates.
Though the rate of majority vegetables was almost normal, but peas was being sold at Rs 100 per kg.
At Eidgah, where sellers with their sheep and goats had come from different parts of the Kashmir valley and Jammu, said there was a drop of about 80 per cent in the sale this time. A man who had come from Sopore with a 130 kg sheep said it costs Rs 80000. Against the government rate of Rs 220 per kg for sheep, it was being sold at Rs 280 to Rs 300 per kg. A shepherded had come from Poonch said this time the sale is much less.