Low footfall as Numaish reopens

Kanchan, a trader from Gujarat, says that those who lost their stalls in the fire and those who lost material must be compensated.

Kanchan, a trader from Gujarat, says that those who lost their stalls in the fire and those who lost material must be compensated.  

Stall fee returned to traders whose shops were gutted

A day after Fire Services Department officials confirmed that the All India Exhibition Society had not obtained an NOC, the Numaish reopened on Saturday only to witness sparse crowd.

Both traders and AIIES officials said that on any Saturday, there would be visitors and shoppers upwards of 65,000. The inferno which gutted over 200 shops, they said, is the reason for the much low footfall, approximately 15,000.

“A lot of people are unaware that the Numaish has reopened. We are expecting better footfall tomorrow,” AIIES member Ashvin Margam said.

Touching upon the poor turnout, a senior executive of a home appliance brand with a large stall at the Numaish said, “On Saturdays, there would be a huge rush and navigating through the crowd was a task. Now look, you can actually run around.”

Recalling sales figures, he said, “By this time, sales would hover around ₹25 lakh, we have barely touched ₹15 lakh. This is in part due to the rains, and also because of the fire.”

On Saturday, it appeared that the AIIES and government pulled up its socks and beefed up fire safety measures. Instead of the usual two fire engines, there were four stationed at different locations at the Numaish. The number of two-wheeler fire-fighting units were also increased to four.

But traders said that these measures were too little, too late.

Atta Mohammed a Kashmiri trader and Kanchan, a business woman from Gujarat, both stated that while around ₹35,000 as stall fee was returned to those whose shops were gutted, they claimed that the AIIES needed to change its perspective and adopt a more humane approach.

“The society cannot see anything beyond shops which have burned. Like them, we too lost our goods. What’s the logic behind returning fee to only those whose shops were gutted? The loss is of material which all of us have lost,” Kanchan says.

AIIES member E Rajender Kumar said that all traders whose stalls were gutted have been returned the fee which was taken at the time of booking An amount upwards of ₹35,000 was paid to to each trader.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 2:40:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/low-footfall-as-numaish-reopens/article26164154.ece

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