Andhra Pradesh

COVID second wave hits textile business very hard in Fort City

Balaji Textile Market of Vizianagaram wears a deserted look during the limited market hours.   | Photo Credit: K. Srinivasa Rao

Vizianagaram Balaji Textile Market, which is one of the biggest textile markets of Andhra Pradesh, has been facing unprecedented slump with the steep drop in sales with the lack of regular demand and marriages getting postponed due to lockdown. The industry which was hit very badly last year with the first wave of Coronavirus, could revive marginally during Diwali-Christamas and Sankaranti seasons. Almost all 305 shops wore a deserted look during the limited trading hours. In normal days, all internal roads were jam-packed with the customers coming from different towns of Odisha, Kakinada, Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and other places in Andhra Pradesh.

With inauspicious ‘Mudham’ between February 1 and April 12, the sales dropped significantly. Normally, buying of saris and other dress material is completed three months before the beginning of marriage season. However, the families didn’t buy them due to Mudham which is said to be an inappropriate time for taking up marriage related activities. Otherwise, crores worth of business used to take place every day here during marriage season. This marriage season is lifeline for all the shops to meet their expenses in a dull period.

The traders who have been waiting for marriage season of May and June were shocked with the sudden lockdown on restrictions on conducting marriages. The government allowed only 20 persons for each marriage, making many families postpone the wedding dates. The Market President Buddepu Venkata Rao said that many traders were in deep financial crisis with the piling of stocks for the last one year. “It has become a Herculean task for traders to meet regular maintenance charges such as rents, electricity charges and payment of salaries to the staff,” he added.

The Association Secretary Nirmal Kumar Pokarna told The Hindu that the wholesale traders were facing untold miseries with the little financial transactions in the last five months. “The wholesale traders who import textiles from Gujarat and other places should make payments promptly. But we are unable to get collections from retail traders of different parts of North Andhra region. The lockdown period turned into a big challenge for us,” he added.

In spite of the financial distress, the traders continued to their service activities with the suggestion from Vizianagaram MLA Kolagatla Veerabhadra Swamy. The association arranged beds in hospitals and supplied oxygen cylinders to needy patients of COVID-19. The market former President Praveen Kumar Anchalia and other members arranged a blood donation camp in association with Rotary Parvati Devi Anchalia Voluntary Blood Bank. He said that the Blood Bank volunteers and traders were promoting plasma donation since it was needed to save lives of many COVID-19 patients.


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 5:01:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/covid-second-wave-hits-textile-business-very-hard-in-fort-city/article34556552.ece

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