Srinagar, Oct 4: Hundreds of vendors continued to suffer since March this year in view of the closure of the famous three-km-long Sunday Market due to COVID-19 in the heart of the Srinagar city.
The shops and business establishments also remained closed on Sunday in the main business hubs, including historic Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the summer capital as per directions by the District Administration. However, shops are functioning on other days on rotational basis in the city to avoid rush and further spread of coronavirus.
Hundreds of vendors, selling different products, including cloths, utensils, shoes and shawls, were putting up their stalls on both sides of the road from Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) to Hari Singh High Street (HSHS), including Lal Chowk, Regal Chowk, Amira Kadal and Residency road.
However, the vendors are not being allowed to put up their stalls in view of the COVID-19 since March this year following imposition of lock down and other restrictions.
Though the district administration has allowed plying of public transport and opening of business establishments, Sunday Market remained closed badly hitting hundreds of vendors and their families.
The vendors were doing good business on every Sunday before the lock down. Thousands of people, including women and children from different parts of the valley were visiting the market.
The vendors said that they were doing good business during this period of the year, selling warm cloths, particularly sweaters, snow shoes, warm track suits and different type of blankets.
Last year too we have suffered heavy losses due to curfew restrictions after the centre abrogated Article 370 and this year it is coronavirus, said a vendor Hilal Ahmad Bhat, resident of Maisuma, now working with a carpenter.
If we will not do any other work our family will face starvation, he said adding some vendors are now working as labourers to feed their children.
We had a meeting with the district administration recently and assured that we will follow Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and other directions strictly, said the vendors seeking permission to open the market.