Food stall owners make brisk business on all days

The eight-day long mega festival called Baliyatra ended here on Wednesday evening peacefully as the organisers and police force heaved a sigh of relief. The historic festival also re-established the fact that the city is the biggest trade hub of the State as business worth over Rs.100 crore was transacted at the trade fair.

Although, the festival was officially closed last night after an extension of one day, traders had a brisk business for the whole day on Thursday. Although, power and water supply was snapped, some traders will continue to remain here for few more days.

Police sources said on an average, at least five lakh visitors turned up to the fairgrounds every day and particularly on Sunday and Wednesday, it was estimated that at least 10 lakh revellers visited the Baliyatra which witnessed heavy rush since afternoon. Whereas the fair grounds were jam-packed during evening hours, this year the fair witnessed heavy rush during morning and noon times as well due to favourable weather.

Official sources indicated that food stalls, electronic goods dealers, culinary vendors, joyride owners and other household article, including decorative sellers laughed their ways to banks as people made heavy purchases during the last four days of the fair. “While around Rs. 90 crore businesses were made last year, this year, the estimated business must have surpassed all records,” said a senior district official overseeing the entire arrangement of the trade fair.

Sources indicated that bankers—both private and public sector, who offered various schemes of bank loans during the festival have got assurances of business worth over Rs. 5 crore. Similarly, the insurance sectors too made discernible inroads after opening their stalls at the fair. At least five private and public sector banks set up their stalls every year and lure the avid visitors as their customers. The 300-odd food stall owners however, made brisk business during all the eight days of the festival and it was estimated that over Rs. 30 crore foodstuffs were consumed during the eight-day long festival. Sources said the food bazaar set up by a spices manufacturing unit, dealing exclusively on choicest Odia cuisine sold food items worth over Rs. 4 lakh on an average everyday.