Days ahead of Diwali, there’s a gloom at Sadar Bazar — one of the busiest wholesale markets in the city. Also known as Delhi’s biggest firecracker market, Sadar Bazar has seen a dip in sales this year.
Traders dealing with firecrackers, ornamental lights and every other item associated with the festival of lights say that sale has gone down quite a bit as compared to last year.
Devraj Baweja, president of the Sadar Bazar Traders’ Confederation, feels the Diwali shopping fiesta has dampened this year due to the rising prices of goods in general. “With prices of most essential items going up, people are decreasing their Diwali budget, affecting the sale,” he said.
According to Baweja, the firecracker wholesalers usually do business of Rs. 15-20 crore during the Diwali season, which is quite less this year. “It is just half of what we sold last year,” said Neeraj Kumar, a shopowner said.
With Diwali a week away, traders are hoping that sales will pick up in a couple of days. “Hopefully, the last few days will witness a rush and sales will look up,” Bhavanesh Kumar, a firecrackers’ wholesaler trader, said.
Traders say, on an average, families spend Rs. 1,000-2,000 on firecrackers and Rs. 1,000-1,500 on ornamental lights. Another odd Rs. 8,000 is spent on clothes, while around Rs. 2,500 is shelled out on food items and sweets.
Inflation has hit millions of Indians, with daily products and services — from food to footwear, movie tickets to medicines, restaurant bills to deodourants — going up in the past 12 months. The same amount of money now buys fewer goods.
As one proceeds towards Sadar Bazar from New Delhi railway station, the road is clogged. Random rickshaws and other vehicles are parked on either side, making matters worse. Chaos and vehicular traffic is what greets visitors and this also making visitors stay away.
According to Baweja, the tremendous traffic is another reason why people are avoiding the hub of Diwali goodies. “There is no parking space here. Shoppers can’t bring their vehicles to come here,” he said, adding the traders met the North DCP to voice their concern over the problem.