|Early Times Report|
Jammu, July 6: With dark clouds hovering over commencement of Shri Amarnath Yatra and pilgrimage to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, the dry fruit dealers of Jammu have claimed of losses over 125 crores in the peak months of June and July.
The dealers said that June and July months are summer vacation period and unprecedented rush of pilgrims is witnessed every year in Jammu due to pilgrims reaching here for Shri Mata Vaishno Devi and Amarnath Yatra, but this year in view of Corona Virus pandemic, the market has already suffered huge losses and in these two months, over 125 crores of business is will get affected.
“Firstly the COVID and now doubts over start of two major pilgrimage have broke our backbone,” Jyoti Gupta, president, Jammu Dry Fruit Retailers Association here said on Monday.
He said that the dry fruit dealers have suffered a loss of more than 125 crores due to the ongoing cancellation of Vaishno Devi Yatra and Amarnath Yatra this year.
“In the months of June and July, due to holidays in schools across the country, there were a lot of rush of tourists and pilgrims in Jammu,” he said adding that thousands of devotees used to reach Jammu every day for Amarnath yatra and Vaishno Devi pilgrimage, which had a direct impact on the traders in Jammu. But, this year, he said that due to the Corona virus, the Vaishnodevi Yatra, which has been cancelled since March, and now the ongoing situation of the Amarnath Yatra start has broken the back of dry fruit traders in Jammu. “The dealers are suffering losses and many of them are also not opening the shops,” he added.
Devotees of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi and Baba Amarnath who reach Jammu have first choice of dry fruits as these shops not only offer prasad of Mata and Baba Bhole Nath, but famous nuts, almond, saffron, rajmash and basmati rice of Jammu and Kashmir are being carried by the visitors to their respective places.
“There are about 80 dry fruit shops in Jammu, while Katra is having more than 400,” he said and added that in this season, where the daily turnover of dry fruit in Jammu is about Rs 40 to 50 lakh rupees, in Katra this figure is about Rs one crore to Rs 2.5 crores.
But, this time due corona, the traders associated with this business have to suffer loss of several hundred crores, the dealer added.
At the same time, the concern of the traders associated with this trade is that it is clear the war against Corona pandemic is going to be a long process and in such a situation, these businessmen claimed that the current year has brought more losses to them.
They however, have appealed to the central government for some financial package to these dealers to meet at least some percent of losses they have suffered.