A lacklustre Vishu for the traders at SM Street

LAST-MINUTE BUYING: People shop for "vishu vellari and "konnapoo" that form the core of "vishukkani" at SM Street on Saturday

LAST-MINUTE BUYING: People shop for "vishu vellari and "konnapoo" that form the core of "vishukkani" at SM Street on Saturday  

Staff Reporter

Blaze casts a pall of gloom in the city

KOZHIKODE: The blaze on Moideen Palli Road in Kozhikode on April 5, which had left five persons dead and over 50 injured, had cast a pall of gloom among the people and the traders during the run-up to Vishu. However, on Friday and Saturday the business picked up.

"People thronged SM Street and other business centres in the city on Friday and Saturday," said Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi vice-president K. Hassan Koya.

Though it was customary to buy new clothes for Vishu, the handloom fair organised by the District Industries Centre, Kozhikode; and Kozhikode District Handloom Development Committee did not register good business. The collection till Saturday morning was around Rs.25 lakh. Primary Handloom Weavers Cooperatives of Kerala and Hantex too had participated in the fair.

The ban on cracker business in the city after the fire tragedy affected the fireworks industry. However, the opening of cracker shops in Swapna Nagari on Tuesday brought some solace to the traders.

People came from far-off places to buy crackers. However, traders said that the volume of business was very low when compared to the previous years. They were also miffed at the lack of facilities at the ground.

P. Abdul Rasheed, district general secretary of Fruits Merchants Association, said that like previous years the sale of fruits during this Vishu was good. The vegetable market also witnessed brisk business.

However, the general excitement among the people was missing. Streets, which would have reverberated with bursting of crackers weeks before Vishu, were perhaps a bit silent this time.

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