VIJAYAWADA: The alacritous Dasara festival turned silent in Andhra Pradesh this year due to Coronavirus pandemic, untimely incessant rains and soaring prices of essential commodities. Further, news that the 'Second Wave of Virus' could be in offing restrained masses from celebrating the festival, while cash constraints discouraged people from spending.
Navaratri celebrations that used to be held in every locality were virtually absent, though the festival started on October 17 and is concluding with Teppotsavam in Krishna River on Sunday. Every year, nearly 70,000–80,000 devotees would daily visit Durga temple on Indrakeeladri during Dasara festivities. The rush would cross the one-lakh figure on the auspicious Moola Nakshatram Day, which is the birth star of Goddess Durga. Similar festivities would be held across all the 13 districts of the state on par with Durga temple celebrations in Vijayawada.
According to market sources, at least Rs. 1,000-crore turnover is registered during Dasara festivities every year. Sales of electronic goods, household items, clothes, jewellery, two/four wheelers and real estate would abnormally increase during the period. Traders are lamenting that their turnover this year has been very poor.
Senior market analyst P. Prakash said lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic has taught a hard lesson to the public about the importance of liquid cash during crises. He pointed out that majority of people have shunned weekend entertainments and luxuries due to the cash crunch. Now, Corona's 'Second Wave' is further leading to people withholding money, which is why Dasara sales have crashed.
Senior sales manager N. Krishna rued that even price concessions with zero percent interest finance have failed to attract customers during this Dasara. He said people are giving priority to only essential needs. Automobile industry, which witnesses sales of bikes and cars in large numbers during Dasara, is still struggling. Vehicle dealers said majority sections of the society used to purchase vehicles of their choice during Dasara, treating the period as auspicious. But this time, only a few people have purchased vehicles.
Realtor K. Siva Reddy pointed out that real estate companies would start new ventures during Dasara festival, giving various offers. This was missing this time. Indian Chamber of Commerce leader A. Aanjaneyulu said market will recover only after the second wave of Coronavirus and return to normalcy.