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Hectic shopping on Deepavali eve

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ELEVENTH-HOUR RUSH: Residents busy buying articles for Deepavali in Pudukottai on Sunday.
ELEVENTH-HOUR RUSH: Residents busy buying articles for Deepavali in Pudukottai on Sunday.

M. Balaganessin

Pavement vendors have attracted a large crowd this year

PUDUKOTTAI: Despite sharp showers that caused a setback for the traders for a few hours in the day, hectic shopping was witnessed on the East Main Road, the business hub of the town, on the eve of Deepavali on Sunday.

Pavement vendors marketing various low-priced dress materials, attracted a large crowd this year.

Till last year, the pavement vendors were used to put up their temporary shops on either sides of the East Main Road.

With the strength of theses vendors having unusually swelled this season, the police made special arrangements by allotting the additional space on the entire middle part of the Road. This arrangement not only facilitated the vendors but also ensured a safe shopping by the members of the public.

A cross-section of pavement vendors said that although he had some apprehension about the prospects of the trade this season in the wake of the inflationary trend, he could realise an appreciable profit.

Abdul Karim (25), who markets ready-made garments, said that the prices of the garments had gone up anywhere between 5 and 10 per cent over last year’s prices. Perople, especially those belonging to the middle and lower-middle income groups, preferred the pavement shops.

Traders in fire-works seem to have bore the brunt of the inflation, with the prices of crackers having registered a skyrocketing rates this season.

A trader, R. Selvakumara who has been in the business for the past two-and-a-half decades, said that never he had witnessed such a steep hike in the prices of crackers in two consecutive seasons. Although he had to invest an additional Rs.One lakh this year over last year’s Rs. Three lakhs, the business was not that much brisk now. “People turn hesitant after hearing the prices. On an average, the prices of crackers have gone up by at least 25 per cent. In a few varieties, the hike is even 50 percent,” he says, adding that people curtailed the quantum of their usual purchase.

The arrangements made by the police by setting up Closed Circuit Television sets and watch-towers on the East Main Road, besides mobile patrolling in the other parts of the town ensured a free and safe shopping this year.

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