Markets remain abuzz with Eid shoppers, prices of essentials skyrocket

Srinagar: Markets remained abuzz for the second day on Thursday with Eid-ul-Azha shoppers in the Kashmir valley, including the summer capital, Srinagar.
However, the 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. Private vehicles were seen plying in large numbers on the roads, causing traffic jams at several places.
The administration in Srinagar has relaxed lockdown restrictions for two days from Wednesday allowing people to make purchases for the festival which falls on August 1.
Though only essential services shops and some business establishments were allowed to open form 0900 hrs to 1800 hrs daily, but practically all other businesses were also open and were seen doing normal. The relaxation period will end at 1800 hrs this evening.
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.
Bakery and confectionery shops besides meat and chicken shops witnessed heavy rush. However, there was no market checking and essentials, particularly meat was being sold at prices much higher than the government rate.
Meat was being sold at Rs 600 per kg in most of the areas, against the government rate of Rs 400. However, in some areas action had been taken against butchers for selling meat at higher rates.
Though the administration has strictly directed people and shopkeepers to wear masks, maintain social distancing and take other precautions to prevent a further spike in COVID-19 cases, in several cases, especially busy markets people were seen violating the norms openly.
As per the reports from number of markets, including Gonikhan, Mahraj Bazar, Hari Singh High Street (HSHS), the historic Lal Chowk, Batmaloo, Dalgate saw heavy rush of shoppers. He reported that people were not following social distancing and some people, including women, were seen moving around without face masks.
Most of the vegetables were being sold at normal rates, but peas were Rs 100 per kg.