Kisan mela: Despite clear weather, 80% traders wind up their stalls
To compensate the loss of traders who had to bear the brunt of incessant rain on both days of the kisan mela, authorities on Saturday extended the bi-annual event by one day
Even though Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) extended the kisan mela by a day, around 80 percent of the total stalls deserted the campus due to extremely low turnout despite favourable weather conditions on the third day.
To compensate the loss of agro-industrialists who had to bear the brunt of incessant rain on both days of the kisan mela, authorities on Saturday extended the bi-annual event by one day.
28-year-old Rinku who came all the way from Kharar to learn about new farming tools at the mela after reading about its extension on Facebook was shook to see the deserted campus.
“As I entered the university campus around 12 pm, i saw a number of labourers uprooting their tents, packing away the exhibition that supposed to be in place. After driving around 100 kms just to be the part of fest, I feel mislead,” said Rinku.
Entrepreneurs who carried on their stalls on the third day claimed that another day went into vain as their was lack of awareness about farmers and local residents about the extended date.
Devinder Goswami owner of Goswami Caterers, who had put food stall in main PAU stadium said, “Turnout was so low this year that we could not even achieve one-fourth of sales we did in a single day during September mela. Despite PAU having a metrological department, they fail us every time.”
Due to low count of visitors, Goswami food stall that sold a thali for ₹100 on the day 1 and 2 of the mela, gave away unlimited food for just ₹50 to minimise their loss on the third day.
In view of negligible footfall, the third day came to an abrupt end around 3 pm. Only labours could be spotted at the venue, winding up during the noon.
A senior PAU official on the condition of anonymity said last year the university had generated revenue of around ₹1,22,00,000 through stall rents in September mela and almost the same amount has been collected during this fest too. However, they have repeatedly failed to address the concerns faced by the agro-entrepreneurs.