Eid celebrations in Chandigarh have seen a hit this year as sellers complain of administrative interference, low sales, and low buyer turnout.
Manimajra, which used to be the only area to hold a ‘bakri mandi’ before Bakri-Eid every year, used to see huge crowds till last year. However, this year the mandi remained dull and did not witness a large footfall. Sellers claim their sales have dropped down by 80 per cent, with very few people stepping out for purchases.
“I used to get an approximate 50 goats each year which would sell off in a jiffy. This year, I was only able to bring ten in the last one week, but I was able to seel them only today at prices lower than usual,” said Naseem Ahmed, a resident of Kalka, Panchkula.
Further pointing out a restraint in procuring goats which they used to get from Himachal Pradesh earlier, he added, “Due to the ongoing restrictions, the procurement of goats has been difficult. The chain of supply has been disrupted along with a huge drop in demand as well.”
Adil, another seller had bought 20 goats but has only managed to sell 13 as on Thursday. He remains hopeful of selling his lot by Friday. “I will not be able to register any sales after that as Eid falls on Saturday.”
Talking about the disruption in sales caused by police officers patrolling in the area, he said, “I do not know why they do it. It is an open vacant park in Manimajra where we sell our goats, while maintaining social distancing.”
“They are either not allowing the mandi to be set up or the sellers have not come this time. I cannot find a good goat this year. The celebrations will undoubtedly remain pale this year,” said Naseen Zaidi, a buyer.
No official order either permitting setting up the mandi or denying permission for it, have been issued this year, said Inspector Naveen Sharma of Manimajra police station. “We are not denying anybody permission to sell their goats,” he added.
Firoz Khan, who owns a mutton and chicken shop, said sales have touched a record low this year and blames the virus, lockdown and low incomes for it. “The effect of lockdown and the pandemic can be seen clearly not just on sales but on people’s faces also. Our first Eid too remained tasteless amid the lockdown. And even this time Namaaz at mosques will not be allowed. Most people are not buying anything due to low or negligible incomes with an added fear of contracting the virus. We can only hope it’s better the next time,” he said.
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