Vijayawada: With just two days to go for Sankranti, a festive air has enveloped the city, with all roads busy with shoppers and families enjoying an evening out. Adding to the sense of festivities are the decorations and banners /posters put up by traders, advertising discounts to attract the customers.
The busy Besant Road, said to be the common man’s destination for shopping, has been witnessing hectic activity right from the morning, and the flow of crowd continuing till 11 pm.
Ramesh, an private employee, who came to shop for his family for Sankranti, said that shopping at Lenin Centre and Beasant road is easier for the common man due to the affordable prices. “My family members enjoy walking on the Beasant road in the evening, in this festive atmosphere,” he said.
The festive season brings more cheer to roadside vendors on Besant Road, as they receive more business than the shops. With attractive items available on the pavement, people prefer buying from these vendors.
Eluru Road, Bandar Road and I-Town areas are also witnessing hectic business activity, crowded as they are with shoppers. The return of many families to the city from Hyderabad and other cities to celebrate Sankranti has added to the crowd, and the festive spirit.
Meanwhile, reports are coming in from several villages that betting organisers are getting ready for cockfights, despite a ban in place and repeated warnings by the cops. Reports suggest that many mango gardens and forest clearings in upland areas are being readied for the cockfights.
Kumar, of Nuzvid said that Sankranti would lose its meaning if there were no cockfights. Nuzvid, Chatrai, Vissannapet, Tiruvur and several villages in Diviseema region witness cockfights during the festival, said to be under the patronage of local politicians. Meanwhile, Jeevakarunya Sangham president K. Venkateswara Rao submitted representations to the collector and the SP, demanding a stop to the cockfights.