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Shoppers rush creates massive traffic snarls in Srinagar

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Srinagar, Aug 21: Despite common people too donning the mantle of traffic cops by trying to regulate the huge volume of vehicular traffic, the usual unruliness on the roads and streets was at its nadir today as heavy rush of Eid shoppers created massive traffic snarls almost everywhere in the city and the towns.

For most part of the day, the major traffic arteries in Srinagar downtown, particularly around Eidgah, entire Nallah Mar road, Nowhatta, Khanyar, besides the ones around the City Centre Lal Chowk, Budshah Chowk, Maisuma, Hari Singh High Street,  Maharaja Bazaar, Jehangir Chowk, Exhibition road in uptown, remained clogged with  the heavy rush of shoppers, making it virtually impossible for the vehicles to move.

While the traffic cops remained virtually on toes throughout the day, at certain places it were the common people who had to jump in to play the ‘cops in blue’ and try to create some sense on roads and streets choked with traffic.

As Eid-ul-Adha is being celebrated tomorrow (Wednesday), today obviously was the last day for the people to go for last-minute shopping for the Eid, including of clothes, footwear, eatables and of course the sacrificial animals.

Sheep and goats worth crores would be sacrificed over the next three days to mark the tradition of Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh), in which he had offered to sacrifice his only son, Prophet Ismail (pbuh), as an act of obedience for Allah.

The meat of the sacrificial animals would then be distributed among relatives, friends and needy people.

As happens every time, the Consumer Affairs department had fixed a ceiling of Rs 210 per kilogram of live animal, but the rate list was being observed in breach, indicating a higher demand for the animals this year.

"The rate list issued by the government departments exists only on paper as the animals are sold at the rate of anywhere between Rs 240 to Rs 350 per kilogram," said a city resident.

A mutton dealer has brought in camels from Rajasthan to be sacrificed this Eid. While few people showed interest in buying these animals, a large crowd gathered at places where these were put on sale.

Some animals are fetching the mutton dealers three to four times the actual value.

"We are selling the live animals at Rs 220 per kg but there are some sheep and goats which have higher price. The customers are willing to pay more for animals which look beautiful," Mohammad Ayoub, a mutton dealer, said.

Elsewhere, bakeries, confectioneries and ready-made garment showrooms witnessed heavy footfall over the past few days as people made purchases for Eid.

However, the business community claimed that the sales were not as good as they had expected.

“We have had a tough decade with agitations claiming three seasons in 2008, 2010 and 2016. Then we had 2014 floods which have badly affected the financial condition of the people," Sajad Ahmad, a shopkeeper, said.

He said extension of GST to Jammu and Kashmir preceded by demonetisation in 2016 also had adverse effect on business in Kashmir.

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