Jammu and Kashmir: As Eid-ul-Fitr approaches, markets in Jammu and Kashmir are bustling with activity as people prepare for the joyous occasion. After a year of Covid-19 restrictions, there is a sense of relief as the region is currently free from any pandemic-related limitations. People from far-flung areas in Srinagar are flocking to the markets to buy clothes, sweets, and other festive items, eager to celebrate Eid with their loved ones.
"We are delighted that there are no Covid-19 restrictions this year, and we can shop freely for Eid. It's a time of celebration, and we are excited to indulge in the festive preparations," said a local.
However, amidst the festive fervor, the ongoing work on the Srinagar Smart City project has impacted the market dynamics. The construction activities and changes in traffic patterns have caused some inconvenience to shoppers and shopkeepers alike.
“Due to the ongoing work on the Smart City project, the market has been affected. The traffic diversions and limited parking space have made it challenging for customers to access the shops easily,” said a shopkeeper at the market.
Moreover, the economic challenges post the Covid-19 pandemic are evident, with limited buying power among the shoppers. Many people are cautious with their spending due to the financial impact of the pandemic.
"We are facing economic challenges due to the pandemic. Many people have limited buying power, and it has affected the overall sales during the festive season," said another shopkeeper.
Despite these challenges, the spirit of Eid celebrations prevails, and people are determined to make the most of the festive occasion. With hopes for better times ahead, the preparations for Eid continue in full swing in Jammu and Kashmir.
"The market may be impacted, but we are determined to celebrate Eid with joy and enthusiasm. It's a time of togetherness and happiness, and we are looking forward to the festivals," said a local resident.
As the countdown to Eid begins, the people of Jammu and Kashmir are eagerly looking forward to celebrating the festival with their loved ones, amidst the ongoing work on the Smart City project and the economic challenges post the Covid-19 pandemic.