Traders in Coimbatore expect that restrictions announced by the government to control the spread of COVID – 19 will not affect Pongal sales.
M. Rajendran, president of Thyagi Kumaran Market Vegetable Traders Association, said sale of vegetables for Pongal is usually not high. However, the arrivals will slow down because workers will go to their home towns and farmers will not take up agricultural activities for a few days during Pongal. Hence, prices will remain high till Pongal and are expected to drop after that.
Regarding the restrictions, he said the vegetable arrivals from different cultivation centres have slowed down and hence, there may not be much impact.
C. Balasubramanian, president of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore, said the traders expect well distributed sales for Pongal. “People from rural areas will visit shops here to buy clothes, jewellery, etc., for Pongal. This year too, we expect good sales for Pongal. We do not expect huge impact because of the spread of COVID.-19. There is not much fear of Omicron and even if there are restrictions, the traders will ensure that all safety protocols are followed. We will advise our members to have self-imposed safety measures and restrictions,” he said.
Wholesale flower traders said the flowers arrive at the market between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. on all days of the week. Lockdown on Sunday and between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. every day is affecting arrivals. The prices of flowers have softened. “There is a lot of confusion and sales may slow down because of the restrictions,” said a wholesale trader.