Hyderabad: Flower traders and vendors are a happy lot now. They seem to be the biggest beneficiaries of the Telangana government’s decision to make Bathukamma a state festival. Flowers are a big part of the festival.
Wholesale flower traders say that Bathukamma celebrations have pushed their sales upwards by 20 per cent. In Hyderabad alone, the flower traders are raking in an average business of Rs 2 crore each day.
B. Mahipal Reddy, chairman, Hyderabad Wholesale and Commission Flower Merchants’ Association, said, “This year, flower sales have gone up by 15-20 per cent. Flowers, especially banthi puvu (marigold) and chamanti (chrysanthemum), are used for Bathukamma.”
“Flower production in the districts around Hyderabad has not really started. Therefore, we are importing marigold and chrysanthemum from Bengaluru, Mysore and even Hosur,” said Mr Mahipal Reddy.
In Hyderabad, there over 120 wholesale flower dealers, and each of them is making between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1 lakh each day, said the traders’ association members.
Mohammad Jaleeluddin, a vendor at Gudimalkapur market, said, “Besides, selling flowers, we have taken contracts from government offices to change the Bathukamma with fresh flowers every alternate day. We charge anywhere between Rs 100-300 depending on the size of the Bathukamma.”
Environmentalists say that the flowers used in the festival are eco-friendly and help maintain ecological balance. W.G. Prasanna, senior social scientist, TS Pollution Control Board, said, “There are over 22 flowers used in Bathukamma. Many of them have medicinal values.”